Corporate Political Strategies for Salient Issues: The Curvilinear Relationship between Carbon Emissions, Climate Change Lobbying and Disclosure.
An Environmental Economics Series Seminar presented by Nick Narin-Birch, Ph.D. student, UCLA Environmental Science and Engineering Program
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
La Kretz Hall, Suite 300, Large conference room
About the Talk
In 2008, an estimated $3.3 billion was spent on lobbying, the majority of which bankrolled by business, which are mostly perceived as opposing the government at the expense of the public. In this paper, we develop and test hypotheses on how firm performance on a salient political issue influences corporate political strategy. In the context of the recent climate change policy debate in the United States, we hypothesize a U-shaped relationship between greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and two forms of political activity: lobbying and voluntary public disclosure. To test our hypotheses, the study leverages novel data on corporate GHG emissions, lobbying expenses aimed at climate change legislation and disclosure to the Carbon Disclosure Project. Our results suggest that both dirty and clean firms are active in the public policy process, which challenges the popular view that corporate involvement in the environmental policy process is solely adversarial.
About the Speaker
Nicholas Nairn-Birch is doctoral student in the interdepartmental Environmental Science and Engineering (ESE) Program at the University of California Los Angeles where his studies are motivated by a cross-disciplinary approach to solving environmental problems. Nicholas received his M.S. in Statistics from UCLA and has an undergraduate degree in engineering. Taking an empirically driven approach, his research interests focus on the nexus of climate change governance and business strategy. His research for Professor Magali Delmas, at the Institute of the Environment’s Center for Corporate Environmental Performance, explores the relationship between corporate climate strategies and financial performance, with a particular emphasis on the carbon footprint of the supply chain. Nicholas was awarded the National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education Research Traineeship on Clean Energy for Green Industry at UCLA. The fellowship facilitates collaborative research between a mixture of engineering, science and policy graduate students and engagement with local stakeholders with the goal of establishing Los Angeles as a center for green technology.