What are the Drivers of Corporates’ climate transparency? Evidence from the S&P 1200 Index

Published in Ecological Economics

Climate transparency through firms’ disclosures is often considered a prerequisite for the redirection of investments toward low-carbon economy. In order to provide effective incentives to improve this transparency, it is therefore crucial to identify its drivers.

In this paper, we investigate the determinants of two stages of climate transparency: i) the likelihood of responding to the CDP questionnaire; and ii) the extent to which companies comply with the TCFD recommendations.

Using a global sample of 571 firms over the period 2020–2021, we estimate a Two-Part Fractional Response Model. First, the results confirm the relevance of considering two stages of climate transparency as the drivers that explain the first stage differ from those explaining the second. We find evidence that variables related to environmental/climate performance and commitment are good predictors of firms’ transparency regarding climate risks and opportunities.

Our results show that climate transparency is strongly influenced by governance mechanism variables (apart from gender diversity). We also highlight that regulatory factors only impact the second stage of climate transparency.