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Salvatore Polizzi

10 November 2023
This study examines whether the level of environmental disclosure in banks’ financial reports matches less brown lending portfolios. Using granular credit register data and detailed information on firm-level greenhouse gas emission intensities, we find a negative relationship between environmental disclosure and brown lending. However, this effect is contingent on the tone of the financial report. Banks that express a negative tone, reflecting genuine concern and awareness of environmental risks, tend to lend less to more polluting firms. Conversely, banks that express a positive tone, indicating lower concern and awareness of environmental risks, tend to lend more to polluting firms. These findings highlight the importance of increasing awareness of environmental risks, so that banks perceive them as a critical and urgent pressing threat, leading to a genuine commitment to act as environmentally responsible lenders.
JEL Code
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
M41 : Business Administration and Business Economics, Marketing, Accounting→Accounting and Auditing→Accounting
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