This paper investigates whether the European Union policies to tackle climate change create or destroy value for shareholders over the years 2013–2018. Using the event study method, our results suggest that all the sectors were affected by at least one climate policy announcement and that negative effects were more common than positive effects, especially when the Paris Agreement came into force. Up until that
point, the announcement of a new policy produced significant positive effects only on the most environmentally committed firms. Finally, data panel regressions reveal that the company’s sector, more than its environmental commitment, played a central role in determining market reactions toward climate policies. Our paper contributes to the still limited debate on the relationship between environmental regulation and value for equity investors and opens up the debate on a topic yet to be explored: the mitigating role of the company’s environmental commitment. Relevant implications for policy makers promoting a European sustainable economy are also discussed.
Keywords: climate change, environmental commitment, event study, Paris agreement, wealth effect