Companies in the euro zone are more worried about the risks of the ecological transition related to stricter environmental standards than those, more direct, resulting from the vagaries of the weather on their activity, said Wednesday the European Central Bank. The transition risks linked to stricter climate standards, including high carbon pricing, are considered "very important" for 60% of companies surveyed in the euro zone by the monetary institute, reveals a study published in its monthly bulletin.
In the same panel of companies, 39% consider the risks of extreme weather events (forest fires, storms and floods) to be of great concern and 48% reported the same level of concern about the degradation of the natural environment and the depletion of natural resources. The ECB conducted the survey in June among about 5,750 companies, 91% of them SMEs, located in a dozen eurozone countries, including France and Germany.
The European directive on the publication of non-financial data worries
Companies concerned about climate-related disasters are more likely to be located in coastal areas and regions with higher frequency of forest fires, especially in southern European and Nordic countries. Concerns about transition risk are more evenly distributed across euro area regions.
Half of the companies surveyed believe they have invested enough to mitigate their own negative impact on the environment, at a time when high interest rates will make additional investments more expensive. More than half of companies indicated that overpriced financing and insufficient public subsidies are significant obstacles to their climate-related investment plans, according to the ECB.
SMEs in France are already worried about the implementation from next year of the European directive "CSRD" on the publication of extra-financial data, fearing an "administrative avalanche", said in mid-September the president of the Confederation of Small and Medium Enterprises (CPME) François Asselin.
The European directive, known as the "CSRD", acronym for "Corporate sustainability reporting directive", defines 12 accounting standards to govern financial reporting on various environmental, societal and governance (ESG) topics.