Carbon emissions and the cost of capital: Australian evidence

Document Type


Publication details

Yongqing, L, Eddie, I & Liu, J 2014, 'Carbon emissions and the cost of capital: Australian evidence', Review of Accounting and Finance, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 400-420.

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Peer Reviewed




– The purpose of this paper is to investigate the potential impact of the approved Australian carbon emissions reduction plan on the cost of capital and the association between companies’ carbon emission intensity and the cost of capital.


– A sample of Australian Stock Exchange 200 (ASX 200)-indexed companies from 2006 to 2010 is used. Hypotheses are tested based on Heckman’s two-stage approach. Three regression models are developed to examine the association between carbon emissions and the cost of capital.


– Using a sample of ASX 200-indexed listed companies, the paper finds that the cost of capital, including the cost of debt and the cost of equity, will increase for emissions-liable companies. Results also show that the cost of debt is positively correlated with a company’s emission intensity. However, little evidence supports that the emission intensity affects the cost of equity.


– As it is evident that the emissions reduction plan will adversely affect corporate entities’ cost of capital, this study suggests that companies, investors and lenders need to include carbon emission in risk analysis. An emissions-liable company should establish strategies to combat the impact of the Plan on rising cost that comes with the enforcement of the Plan. Government assistance is essential in the transitional period.