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Sante Carbone

21 December 2021
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
17 May 2021
Financial Stability Review Issue 1, 2021
The ECB has been intensifying its quantitative work aimed at capturing climate-related risks to financial stability. This includes estimating financial system exposures to climate-related risks, upgrading banking sector scenario analysis and monitoring developments in the financing of the green transition. Considerable progress has been made on capturing banking sector exposures to firms that are subject to physical risks from climate change. While data and methodological challenges are still a focus of ongoing debates, our analyses suggest (i) somewhat concentrated bank exposures to physical and transition risk drivers, (ii) a prevalence of exposures amongst more vulnerable banks and in specific regions, (iii) risk-mitigating potential for interactions across financial institutions, and (iv) strong inter-temporal dependency conditioning the interaction of transition and physical risks. At the same time, investor interest in “green finance” continues to grow – but so-called greenwashing concerns need to be addressed to foster efficient market mechanisms. Both the assessment of risks and the allocation of finance to support the orderly transition to a more sustainable economy can benefit from enhanced disclosures, including of firms’ forward-looking emission targets, better data and strengthened risk assessment methodologies, among other things.
JEL Code
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
Q54 : Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics, Environmental and Ecological Economics→Environmental Economics→Climate, Natural Disasters, Global Warming
20 November 2019
Financial Stability Review Issue 2, 2019
Scarce and inconsistent information on the climate-related risk embedded in assets makes the pricing of climate risk difficult for investors and authorities.Recent studies have found that environmental disclosures can affect the market valuation of non-financial businesses operating in sectors that are sensitive to the risks related to the transition to a low-carbon economy. But the impact is less clear for financial institutions. This box investigates climate-related disclosures of large euro area banks and insurers and their impact on stock market valuations.