Zacharias Sautner

University of Zurich

Corporate Climate Lobbying
Monday, May 06, 2024 – 05:15 – 06:15 PM  (CEST)

This event will take place online only. To join virtually, please register in advance using this link.

Speaker Bio
Zacharias Sautner is Professor of Sustainable Finance at the Department of Banking and Finance of the University of Zurich (UZH) and a senior chair at the Swiss Finance Institute (SFI). Through his research on ESG topics such as climate change or biodiversity, he provides insights on how finance can contribute to a more sustainable future. He enjoys spreading his sustainable finance views in keynote speeches around the world.

His research was published in leading international journals, and he was ranked #23 globally across 12,000 business authors in a ranking based on SSRN research paper downloads (January 2023, calculated over the past 12 months,). His research has been cited more than 5,000 times according to Google Scholar and his expertise is referenced in newspapers such as Wall Street Journal, New York Times, or Financial Times, and in reports by the IMF, ECB, or European Commission as well as in speeches by central bankers.

Sautner acts as Associate Editor at the Review of Financial Studies, Journal of Banking & Finance, Financial Management, and Journal of Corporate Finance. He is also a Regular Research Visitor at the ECB and advises institutional investors on ESG issues.

Prior to moving to Switzerland, he was Professor of Finance at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management, where he headed for many years the finance department.

Seminar Abstract
A common concern is that ambitious climate policy is – at least in parts – obstructed by corporate lobbying activities. We quantify corporate anti- and pro-climate lobbying expenses, identify the largest corporate lobbyists and their motives, establish how climate lobbying relates to corporate business models, and document whether and how climate lobbying is priced in financial markets. Firms spend on average $295,921 per year on anti-climate lobbying ($164,991 on pro-climate lobbying). Recently, firms have tried to camouflage their climate lobbying activities. Large anti-climate lobbyists have more carbon-intensive business models and face more climate-related incidents in the future. Firms that spend more on anti-climate lobbying earn higher returns, probably because of a risk premium. Their stock prices went up when the Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade Bill failed, and down when the Inflation Reduction Act was announced.

Admission information
The seminar is open to the public. To receive invitations for upcoming seminar talks, please sign up for the mailing list via this form.