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Business and Finance Facing their Climate Responsibilities

Christian Gollier * Toulouse School of Economics, Université Toulouse-1. Contact : Cet article est basé sur le dernier chapitre de mon livre « Le climat après la fin du mois » publié par PUF en mai 2019. Je remercie l'ANR pour son financement ANR-17-EURE-0010 (Investissements d'Avenir program).

As demonstrated by the yellow vests movement, most citizens believe that climate change is a serious matter, but they are not ready to sacrifice much to prevent it. Could corporations and financial intermediaries be substitutes to these sleepwalkers? In spite of the recent enthusiasm for climate finance, this is far from an easy task. Competition inhibits responsible firms to switch to more expensive greener alternative without losing market shares. Moreover, when a bank divests from coal, two others invest in it. At best, financial markets can anticipate the emergence of a more punitive climate policy. And responsible investors should use an internal carbon price to optimize their potfolio.

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