ESG risks rising for private sector issuers

New research from Moody’s Investors Service shows that the frequency of ESG considerations cited in credit rating actions has increased notably across all three categories of ESG.

ESG risks were cited as a “material credit consideration” in 85% of Moody's Investors Service's 8,700-plus rating actions for private sector debt issuers in 2020 up from 32% in 2019.

The increase in ESG references reflects developments including the impact of Covid-19 on already fast-growing social risks, evolving regulatory environments in some G20 economies in the wake of the pandemic, the rising impact of climate change and associated policy measures to mitigate risks.

This new Moody’s research shows that of the more than 8,700 rating actions analysed, 71% mentioned social risk factors, 53% referred to governance issues and 13% cited environmental factors. Many actions contained references to...

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