2010 sec climate change disclosure : determinants and impacts

Guo, Ying
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[Honolulu] : [University of Hawaii at Manoa], [August 2014]
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The guidance on climate change disclosure is currently actively debated. SEC 2010 Commission Guidance Regarding Disclosure Related to Climate Change (abbreviated as SEC 2010 Guidance) is the first guideline provided by either FASB or SEC on climate change issues for U.S. listed companies to follow. This study explores the economic determinants of climate change disclosure and finds that large firms in the environmentally sensitive industries that are profitable and highly leveraged are more likely to report climate change in their 10-K filings to SEC. After the SEC 2010 Guidance became effective, not only large firms report climate change information, but also more median or small firms start to disclose climate change information. Further, this study suggests that climate change disclosure is positively associated with firms' stock return, environmental strength and concerns. Firms concerned with climate change are more likely to disclose climate change information in their 10-K filing after SEC 2010 Guidance effective. In term of cost of debt,this study does not observe a significant association between climate change disclosure in firms' 10-K filings and cost of debt. However, the firms' response and performance on climate change issues do impact cost of debt. Empirical evidence suggests that firms' climate change concern increases the cost of debt for the firm and firm's climate change strength deceases the cost of debt for such firm. Additionally, this study does not find evidence that SEC 2010 Guidance discourages firms' overall environmental disclosure and corporate social responsibility disclosure as some people claim.
Ph.D. University of Hawaii at Manoa 2014.
Includes bibliographical references.
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Theses for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (University of Hawaii at Manoa). International Management.
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