Like ESG investing, climate change is an important concern for asset managers and owners, and a new challenge for portfolio construction. Until now, investors have mainly measured carbon risk using fundamental approaches, such as with carbon intensity metrics. Nevertheless, it has not been proven that asset prices are directly impacted by these fundamental-based measures.
In this paper, we focus on another approach, which consists in measuring the sensitivity of stock prices with respect to a carbon risk factor. In our opinion, carbon betas are market-based measures that are complementary to carbon intensities or fundamental-based measures when managing investment portfolios, because carbon betas may be viewed as an extension or forward-looking measure of the current carbon footprint. In particular, we show how this new metric can be used to build minimum variance strategies and how they impact their portfolio construction.
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