The City Never Sleeps, But When Will Investment Banks Wake Up to the Climate Crisis?
Regional Studies (Forthcoming)
32 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2021 Last revised: 17 Sep 2021
Date Written: September 5, 2021
Using a global dataset of over 840,000 equity, bond and syndicated loan investment banking deals, we build the fossil fuel investment brokerage profile of financial centres worldwide between 2000 and 2018. We also study whether city-level fossil fuel divestment commitments and country level green banking policies impact the profile of fossil fuel financial centres over our study timeframe. We find that several financial centres shift their fossil fuel investment brokerage profiles substantially, including the asset classes which they are active in. However, we do not find any evidence that this is driven by city-level divestment commitments. We do find however that fossil fuel investment banking brokers situated in financial centres exposed to voluntary green banking policies reduce their fossil fuel financing. This is driven by foreign brokers whose behaviour signals an anticipation of forthcoming mandatory green finance policies.
Keywords: fossil fuel financial centres, fossil fuel divestment, green banking policies, brokerage
JEL Classification: G20; G30; Q28; Q32; Q38; Q50
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