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Katia Vozian

29 November 2023
THE ECB BLOG
European firms need to invest in new technologies to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. This often requires them to take on debt. But what if a company is already highly leveraged? The ECB Blog looks at the relationship between firms’ indebtedness and their success in reducing emissions.
Details
JEL Code
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
G38 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Government Policy and Regulation
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
Q56 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Environment and Development, Environment and Trade, Sustainability, Environmental Accounts and Accounting, Environmental Equity, Population Growth
Q58 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Government Policy
Q01 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→General→Sustainable Development
10 May 2023
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2813
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Abstract
Using evidence from the EU emissions trading system, we collect verified emissions of close to 4000 highly polluting and mostly non-listed firms responsible for 26% of EU’s emissions. Over the period 2013 - 2019, we find a non-linear relationship between leverage and emissions. A firm with higher leverage has lower emissions in subsequent years. However, when leverage exceeds 50%, a further increase is associated with higher emissions. Our difference-in-differences approach sheds light on the existence of a group of firms that are too indebted to successfully accomplish the low-carbon transition, even when they face a steep increase in the cost of their emissions.
JEL Code
C58 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Financial Econometrics
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
Q51 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Valuation of Environmental Effects
Q56 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Environment and Development, Environment and Trade, Sustainability, Environmental Accounts and Accounting, Environmental Equity, Population Growth
Q58 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Government Policy
21 December 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2631
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Abstract
This paper explores how the need to transition to a low-carbon economy influences firm credit risk. It develops a novel dataset which augments data on firms’ green-house gas emissions over time with information on climate disclosure practices and forward-looking emission reduction targets, thereby providing a rich picture of firms’ climate-related transition risk alongside their strategies to manage such risks. It then assesses how such climate-related metrics influence two key measures of firms’ credit risk: credit ratings and the market-implied distance-to-default. High emissions tend to be associated with higher credit risk. But disclosing emissions and setting a forward-looking target to cut emissions are both associated with lower credit risk, with the effect of climate commitments tending to be stronger for more ambitious targets. After the Paris agreement, firms most exposed to climate transition risk also saw their ratings deteriorate whereas other comparable firms did not, with the effect larger for European than US firms, probably reflecting differential expectations around climate policy. These results have policy implications for corporate disclosures and strategies around climate change and the treatment of the climate-related transition risk faced by the financial sector.
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
G32 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Financing Policy, Financial Risk and Risk Management, Capital and Ownership Structure, Value of Firms, Goodwill
Q51 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Valuation of Environmental Effects
Q56 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Environment and Development, Environment and Trade, Sustainability, Environmental Accounts and Accounting, Environmental Equity, Population Growth
C58 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Financial Econometrics