Greenhouse Gas Disclosure and Emissions Benchmarking
61 Pages Posted: 2 Oct 2019 Last revised: 4 Jan 2023
Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Accounting Department
Date Written: January 1, 2023
I examine the effects of the US Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Program, which requires thousands of industrial facilities to measure and report their GHG emissions. I show that facilities reduce their GHG emissions by 7.9% following the disclosure of emissions data. The evidence indicates that benchmarking—whereby facilities use the disclosures of their peers to assess their own relative GHG performance—spurs emissions reductions. Firms' concerns about future legislation appear to motivate this behavior and measurement alone (without disclosure) seems not to reduce emissions. My study highlights how mandatory GHG disclosure can create real effects for peers.
Keywords: Disclosure; ESG; Climate Change; Benchmarking; Peer Effects; Real Effects; Political Pressure
JEL Classification: D72, M40, Q54, Q56
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation