The cost of carbon : capital market effects of the proposed emission trading scheme (ETS)

Chapple, Larelle J., Clarkson, Peter M., & Gold, Daniel L. (2013) The cost of carbon : capital market effects of the proposed emission trading scheme (ETS). Abacus : A Journal of Accounting, Fnance and Business Studies, 49(1), pp. 1-33.

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In March 2008, the Australian Government announced its intention to introduce a national Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), now expected to start in 2015. This impending development provides an ideal setting to investigate the impact an ETS in Australia will have on the market valuation of Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) firms. This is the first empirical study into the pricing effects of the ETS in Australia. Primarily, we hypothesize that firm value will be negatively related to a firm's carbon intensity profile. That is, there will be a greater impact on firm value for high carbon emitters in the period prior (2007) to the introduction of the ETS, whether for reasons relating to the existence of unbooked liabilities associated with future compliance and/or abatement costs, or for reasons relating to reduced future earnings. Using a sample of 58 Australian listed firms (constrained by the current availability of emissions data) which comprise larger, more profitable and less risky listed Australian firms, we first undertake an event study focusing on five distinct information events argued to impact the probability of the proposed ETS being enacted. Here, we find direct evidence that the capital market is indeed pricing the proposed ETS. Second, using a modified version of the Ohlson (1995) valuation model, we undertake a valuation analysis designed not only to complement the event study results, but more importantly to provide insights into the capital market's assessment of the magnitude of the economic impact of the proposed ETS as reflected in market capitalization. Here, our results show that the market assesses the most carbon intensive sample firms a market value decrement relative to other sample firms of between 7% and 10% of market capitalization. Further, based on the carbon emission profile of the sample firms we imply a ‘future carbon permit price’ of between AUD$17 per tonne and AUD$26 per tonne of carbon dioxide emitted. This study is more precise than industry reports, which set a carbon price of between AUD$15 to AUD$74 per tonne.

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20 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 59158
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Capital Market Effects, Cost of Carbon, Proposed Emission Trading Scheme (ETS)
DOI: 10.1111/abac.12006
ISSN: 0001-3072
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > ACCOUNTING AUDITING AND ACCOUNTABILITY (150100)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Accountancy
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc
Copyright Statement: The definitive version is available at
Deposited On: 30 Apr 2013 05:11
Last Modified: 27 May 2014 20:10

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