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Low-carbon transition risks for finance

Author

Listed:
  • Gregor Semieniuk

    (Political Economy Resaerch Institute and Department of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)

  • Emanuele Campiglio

    (Institute of Ecological Economics, Vienna University of Economics and Business)

  • Jean-Francois Mercure

    (Department of Geography, University of Exeter)

  • Ulrich Volz

    (SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance & Department of Economics, SOAS University of London)

  • Neil R. Edwards

    (Environment, Earth and Ecosystems, The Open University, UK)

Abstract

Transition risks for finance arise from the transition to a low-carbon economy, which can disrupt the ability of carbon-intensive industries to meet their financial obligations and lead to abrupt changes in asset valuations of affected firms and default on their debt. An understanding of these risks is key for any ambitious emissions reduction programme, such as that implied by the Paris Agreement. Insight from theory and study of past transitions is of limited help, as these see financial risks mostly flowing from speculation with rising industries propped up by a set of new vastly more productive technologies. The current transition instead requires policy to quickly render a set of currently productive high-carbon industries unprofitable, stranding their assets, so the risks are located in the declining industries. Absent a unified framework of the interaction of real and financial aspects of the transition, one set of studies conceptualises and quantifies asset stranding and other transition costs in declining industries, and a separate one estimates the potential impact of these transition costs on the financial system. Combining these two research strands and modelling the feedback of financial distress on the real economy will require more research, which could help integrate transition risks into the cost analysis of mitigation in integrated assessment models. An important insight from the past transitions literature is that once low-carbon industries are rendered more profitable than high-carbon ones, financial risks could also build in these newly rising industries due to speculation.

Suggested Citation

  • Gregor Semieniuk & Emanuele Campiglio & Jean-Francois Mercure & Ulrich Volz & Neil R. Edwards, 2020. "Low-carbon transition risks for finance," Working Papers 233, Department of Economics, SOAS University of London, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:soa:wpaper:233
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    2. Paola D'Orazio, 2022. "Mapping the emergence and diffusion of climate-related financial policies: Evidence from a cluster analysis on G20 countries," International Economics, CEPII research center, issue 169, pages 135-147.
    3. David Friederich & Lynn H. Kaack & Alexandra Luccioni & Bjarne Steffen, 2021. "Automated Identification of Climate Risk Disclosures in Annual Corporate Reports," Papers 2108.01415, arXiv.org.
    4. Huang, Bihong & Punzi, Maria Teresa & Wu, Yu, 2022. "Environmental regulation and financial stability: Evidence from Chinese manufacturing firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 136(C).
    5. Beirne, John & Dafermos, Yannis & Kriwoluzky, Alexander & Renzhi, Nuobu & Volz, Ulrich & Wittich, Jana, 2022. "Natural Disasters and Inflation in the Euro Area," VfS Annual Conference 2022 (Basel): Big Data in Economics 264132, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Stefano Carattini & Garth Heutel & Givi Melkadze, 2023. "Climate Policy, Financial Frictions, and Transition Risk," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 51, pages 778-794, December.
    7. Magacho, Guilherme & Espagne, Etienne & Godin, Antoine & Mantes, Achilleas & Yilmaz, Devrim, 2023. "Macroeconomic exposure of developing economies to low-carbon transition," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 167(C).
    8. Gianni Guastella & Stefano Pareglio & Caterina Schiavoni, 2023. "An Empirical Approach to Integrating Climate Reputational Risk in Long-Term Scenario Analysis," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 15(7), pages 1-17, March.
    9. Wu, Xin & Bai, Xiao & Qi, Hanying & Lu, Lanxin & Yang, Mingyuan & Taghizadeh-Hesary, Farhad, 2023. "The impact of climate change on banking systemic risk," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 419-437.
    10. John Beirne & Yannis Dafermos & Alexander Kriwoluzky & Nuobu Renzhi & Ulrich Volz & Jana Wittich, 2021. "The Effects of Natural Disasters on Price Stability in the Euro Area," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1981, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    11. Birindelli, Giuliana & Miazza, Aline & Paimanova, Viktoriia & Palea, Vera, 2023. "Just “blah blah blah”? Stock market expectations and reactions to COP26," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    12. Ren, Yi-Shuai & Boubaker, Sabri & Liu, Pei-Zhi & Weber, Olaf, 2023. "How does carbon regulatory policy affect debt financing costs? Empirical evidence from China," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 77-90.
    13. Naef, Alain, 2022. "The Impossible Love of Fossil Fuel Companies for Carbon Taxes," SocArXiv k84ru, Center for Open Science.
    14. Dunz, Nepomuk & Hrast Essenfelder, Arthur & Mazzocchetti, Andrea & Monasterolo, Irene & Raberto, Marco, 2023. "Compounding COVID-19 and climate risks: The interplay of banks’ lending and government’s policy in the shock recovery," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 152(C).
    15. Ricardo Crisostomo, 2022. "Measuring Transition Risk in Investment Funds," Papers 2210.15329, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2022.
    16. Olk, Christopher & Schneider, Colleen & Hickel, Jason, 2023. "How to pay for saving the world: Modern Monetary Theory for a degrowth transition," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 120343, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    17. Julia Anna Bingler & Chiara Colesanti Senni, 2020. "Taming the Green Swan: How to improve climate-related financial risk assessments," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 20/340, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    18. Guo, Kun & Liu, Fengqi & Sun, Xiaolei & Zhang, Dayong & Ji, Qiang, 2023. "Predicting natural gas futures’ volatility using climate risks," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 55(PA).
    19. Hansen, T.A., 2022. "Stranded assets and reduced profits: Analyzing the economic underpinnings of the fossil fuel industry's resistance to climate stabilization," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Transition risks; low-carbon economy; declining industries; stranded assets; financial distress;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • G17 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Financial Forecasting and Simulation
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L16 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Industrial Organization and Macroeconomics; Macroeconomic Industrial Structure
    • N2 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

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