When Does Institutional Investor Activism Increase Shareholder Value?: The Carbon Disclosure Project
Kim Eun-Hee () and
Thomas Lyon ()
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Kim Eun-Hee: George Washington University
The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 2011, vol. 11, issue 1, 1-29
This paper presents the first empirical test of the financial impacts of institutional investor activism towards climate change. Specifically, we study the conditions under which share prices are increased for the Financial Times (FT) Global 500 companies due to participation in the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), a consortium of institutional investors with $57 trillion in assets. We find no systematic evidence that participation, in and of itself, increased shareholder value. However, by making use of Russia’s ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, which caused the Protocol to go into effect, we find that companies’ CDP participation increased shareholder value when the likelihood of climate change regulation rose. We estimate the total increase in shareholder value from CDP participation at $8.6 billion, about 86% of the size of the carbon market in 2005. Our findings suggest that institutional investor activism towards climate change can increase shareholder value when the external business environment becomes more climate conscious.
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