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Expand chart
Data: Lazard Climate Center; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Analysis of companies' market performance shows a relationship between emissions-cutting and higher share prices relative to earnings, a metric of investor confidence.

Driving the news: Lazard, a financial advisory firm, explored the equity values and emissions of over 16,000 companies in 2016-2020.

What they're saying: "The data accumulated so far make it clear that the more greenhouse gases a company emits, the lower its stock price relative to its earnings," Lazard's Peter Orszag and Zachery Halem write in a Bloomberg column.

  • "[I]t’s clear the stock market is already rewarding companies that reduce emissions with higher valuations," they write.
  • Orszag, who headed the White House budget office early in the Obama era, is Lazard's CEO for financial advisory. Halem directs the new Lazard Climate Center, which released the analysis yesterday.

Zoom in: The nexus between emissions and market performance varies by company size, type and location.

  • It's more pronounced for large companies, which the analysts posit is because of greater scrutiny and regulations.
  • "For European industrial companies with a market cap above $50 billion, the price-earnings multiple falls by a whopping 18% for every 10% increase in carbon emissions," their column notes.

What's next: They predict valuations will become increasingly tied to emissions as CO2 prices rise in Europe and, more broadly, as climate controls grow stronger.

Go deeper ... IEA report: A stronger renewables forecast still falls short

Go deeper

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 13, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Biden's climate runway is shortening

Expand chart
Data: U.S. Energy Information Administration; Chart: Jacque Schrag/Axios

The Biden administration is expanding efforts to speed clean electricity expansion with its existing powers, but faces big obstacles to meeting its climate goals without far more help from Congress.

Why it matters: President Biden has set a goal of reaching 100% carbon-free power by 2035 and cutting economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions — that is, power, transport, industry, etc. — in half by 2030.

World ocean temperatures in 2021 were hottest ever recorded

Expand chart
Data: Cheng, L. J, and Coauthors, 2022; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

World ocean temperatures in 2021 were the hottest ever recorded by humans, according to a new peer-reviewed study.

Driving the news: The research ties the warming trend conclusively to human emissions of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas.

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.