Deborah is a senior lecture at UTS Business School commencing there in1992. Prior to that she worked in stockbroking in Sydney doing both research and client advising. She completed a Masters in Environmental and Business Management at Newcastle University in prior to commencing her PhD at Macquarie University. Her PhD in Applied Finance and Actuarial Studies was entitled Efficacy of emissions trading schemes in Australia. This enabled Deborah to combine her expertise in financial markets with her interest in the environment and in particular the issue of climate change. She has published in journals and book chapters in this area of research. This interest has led to more recent research in environmental, social and governance issues in investment practice and impact investing. She is an active member of the Sustainability Working Party and the Center for Business and Social Innovation in the UTS Business School.
Learning about impact investing in recent years through local and international conferences and time spent in Oxford with Professors from the Said Business School has provided another aligned area of research interest. She has recently undertaken research with an industry partner investigating how financial markets can help transform this area of investment.
Deborah teaches ethics and sustainability in the Masters of Finance and principles of finance in the Bachelor of Business Administration for Indigenous Australian students. She has introduced the topics of sustainabiltiy and ethics into the core finance curriculum for undergraduate students.
Can supervise: YES
Impact Investing, sustainability in investment decisions, emissions trading and climate change.
Financial markets, financial management, corporate finance, ethics in finance and sustainable finance.
The increased focus and agreement on the requirement for the planet to be more sustainable has led to an array of new research and financial products. The new buzz phrase is transition financing which is being seen as the path to achieving a sustainable world. The Development Assistance Committee (DAC) in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD, 2019) has the main objective of transition finance is to optimise access to finance for sustainable development to avoid financing gaps or socio-economic setbacks. This chapter examines some of the products and markets in current use by financial institutions and investors. It describes their use and recent research in this area as well as some gaps in this research.
Edwards, M, Brown, P, Benn, S, Bajada, C, Perey, R, Cotton, D, Jarvis, W, Menzies, G, McGregor, I & Waite, K 2020, 'Developing sustainability learning in business school curricula – productive boundary objects and participatory processes', Environmental Education Research, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 253-274.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sustainability learning is holistic and complex as it draws on diverse disciplines and can be interpreted differently within individual pedagogies. Embedding sustainability across and within business schools relies on developing suitable boundary objects. These may include representations such as models, frameworks or classificatory schemes that are malleable enough to be adapted for use within the disparate disciplines and pedagogies, yet durable enough to be recognisable and to maintain consistency across them. Boundary objects thus allow the sharing of ways of knowing or practice across various social boundaries. This paper outlines how participatory curriculum development processes can enable sustainability to be embedded in a business school curriculum. distinct phases of the process were marked by different ways of knowing, as disciplinary-specific academics developed and embedded sustainability into and across curricula. Boundary objects were both outcomes and productive facilitators of this process. They acted as catalysts and attracted ongoing processes of dialogue, debate and meaning-making between these academics. The institutional context provided enabling conditions to legitimize outcomes from the participatory process. The process may be replicable in other business schools by the use of boundary objects.
Emissions trading schemes aim to reduce the emissions in certain pollutants using a market based scheme where participants can buy and sell permits for these emissions. This paper analyses the efficiency of the two largest schemes in Australia, the NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme and the Mandatory Renewable Energy Trading Scheme, through their effect on the electricity prices from 2004 to 2010. We use a long run structural modelling technique for the first time on this market. It provides a practical long-run approach to structural relationships which enable the determination of the effectiveness of the theoretical expectations of these schemes. The generalised forecast error variance decomposition analysis finds that both schemes׳ emissions prices have little effect on electricity prices. Generalised impulse response function analysis support this finding indicating that when shocks are applied to electricity by the two schemes it returns to equilibrium very quickly. This indicates that these schemes are not having the effect anticipated in their legislation.
Australia was one of the first countries in the world to adopt mandatory emissions trading schemes as part of its emissions mitigation program. To date there have been six states and one federal emissions mitigation schemes. Some state schemes operate in conjunction with other states or the federal scheme and some operate independently. This complex set of regulations and requirements for emitters has led to a deficiency in nationwide coverage with no firm target set for Australia. In July 2011 the Federal Labor Government released details of a carbon tax proposal which was passed by the two houses of Parliament by the end of 2011 and was introduced in July 2012. The Government states that an emissions trading scheme will be introduced in 2015 with a possible link to the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS). This paper provides a critical overview of Australian responses to climate change, with a particular emphasis on the numerous emissions mitigation schemes.
Cotton, DJ & Trueck, S 2011, 'Interaction between Australian carbon prices and energy prices', Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 208-222.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The aim of carbon trading is to encourage reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by rewarding the production of power through green sources and penalising power produced by the higher-emitting sources. This article investigates the longterm interaction between carbon permit prices of the two most heavily traded Australian carbon trading schemes with electricity prices using a structural cointegrated vector autoregression model. This is analysed over two consecutive periods to determine if the scheme effectiveness changes over time. The analysis indicates that only in the second, or most recent, period do carbon prices relate to electricity prices. Our results indicate that some problems with the design of the current schemes, however, do provide some promise of an improvement more recently.
Milunovich, G, Stegman, A & Cotton, DJ 2007, 'Carbon Trading: Theory and Practice', JASSA, vol. 2007, no. 3, pp. 3-9.
We present a summary of current initiatives to climate change management including a review of existing carbon trading schemes and the economic arguments supporting those schemes. We also outline conditions under which the existing carbon market structures are optimal as well as those under which improvements upon the current schemes can be made.
Cotton, DJ & Buzevska, M 2017, 'Trading under uncertainty: An investigation of the Australian emissions market' in Routledge Handbook of Social and Sustainable Finance, Taylor and Francis, London, UK, pp. 571-586.
Cotton, DJ 2012, 'Ambiguity in emissions markets', Behavioural Finance Working Group/Mergers and Acquisitions Research Centre Conference, London, UK.
Cotton, DJ 2012, 'Econometric analysis of Australian emissions market efficiency', 9th Conference on Applied Financial Economics, Samos, Greece.
Cotton, DJ 2011, 'Climate change: Level of concern and policy preferences', The Third International Conference on Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Cotton, DJ 2011, 'Emissions trading in Australia - Past, present and future?', The Low Carbon Earth Summit 2011, Dailan, China.