Pricing climate change exposure

Abstract

We estimate the risk premium for firm-level climate change exposure among S&P 500 stocks and its time-series evolution between 2005 to 2020. Exposure reflects the attention paid by market participants in earnings calls to a firm’s climate-related risks and opportunities. When extracted from realized returns, the unconditional risk premium is insignificant but exhibits a period with a positive risk premium before the financial crisis and a steady increase thereafter. Forward-looking expected return proxies deliver an unconditionally positive risk premium, with maximum values of 0.5% to 1% p.a., depending on the proxy, between 2011 and 2014. The risk premium has been lower since 2015, especially when the expected return proxy explicitly accounts for the higher opportunities and the lower crash risks that characterize high-exposure stocks. This finding arises as the priced part of the risk premium primarily originates from uncertainty about climate-related upside opportunities. In the time series, the risk premium is negatively associated with green innovation, Big Three holdings, and ESG fund flows, and positively associated with climate change adaptation programs.

Beteiligte Institutionen

Die Hauptstandorte vom TRR 266 sind die Universität Paderborn (Sprecherhochschule), die HU Berlin und die Universität Mannheim. Alle drei Standorte sind seit vielen Jahren Zentren für Rechnungswesen- und Steuerforschung. Hinzu kommen Wissenschaftler der LMU München, der Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, der WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, der ESMT Berlin, der Goethe-Universität Frankfurt und der Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, die die gleiche Forschungsagenda verfolgen.