Firm-level Climate Change Exposure

Firm-level Climate Change Exposure

Zacharias Sautner, Laurence van Lent, Grigory Vilkov, Ruishen Zhang

Series number :

Serial Number: 
686/2020

Date posted :

July 22 2020

Last revised :

October 05 2020
SSRN Share

Keywords

  • climate change • 
  • climate risk • 
  • conference calls • 
  • institutional investors

We introduce a method that identifies firm-level climate change exposure from conversations in the earnings conference calls of more than 10,000 firms from 34 countries between 2002 and 2019. The method adapts a machine learning keyword discovery algorithm and captures exposures related to opportunity, physical, and regulatory shocks associated with climate change.

The exposure measures exhibit cross-sectional and time-series variations that align with reasonable priors, and these measures are better at capturing firm-level variation than are carbon intensities or ratings. The exposure measures capture economic factors that prior work has identified as important correlates of climate change exposure (e.g., public climate attention). Exposure to regulatory shocks negatively correlates with firm valuations, but only in recent years.

Authors

Real name:
Laurence van Lent
Real name:
Grigory Vilkov
Real name:
Ruishen Zhang