Clean energy stocks outpacing fossil fuel investments in Trump era, report finds

Global clean energy stocks have surged past investments in fossil fuels in the past year despite the political shockwaves caused by Donald Trump's US presidency, new research has found.

Researchers insists that the market forces driving the economic benefits of clean energy are far more powerful than a small group of climate-sceptic politicians

Researchers insists that the market forces driving the economic benefits of clean energy are far more powerful than a small group of climate-sceptic politicians

An update to the Carbon Clean200, which ranks companies based on their revenues from clean energy, shows that stocks in clean energy in fact surpassed their fossil fuel benchmark on Trump’s inauguration day.

The Clean200 generated a 16.9% return in its first year performace versus a 1.2% fall for the S&P 1200 Global Energy Index. Green media research firm Corporate Knights, which co-authored the report, has said that the market forces driving investments in clean energy are displaying strong resilience to a climate-sceptic US administration.  

"While some feared that the political climate change in Washington D.C. would put a damper on clean energy stocks to the benefit of fossil fuel stocks, the opposite has happened,” said Toby Heaps, chief executive of Corporate Knights and report co-author. “Almost poetically, the Clean200 surged past the fossil fuel benchmark on inauguration day and has not looked back since.”

‘Taking the initiative’

The ten companies that contributed the most to the Clean200’s first year performance are all involved in the provision of products, materials and services related to energy efficiency. German manufacturer Siemens managed to pip Japanese carmarker Toyota to top spot, the latter delivering a vast amount of clean energy revenue from sales of hybrid and electric vehicles. Meanwhile, Schneider Electric, ABB Group and Panasonic rounded up the top five. 

In order to be eligible, a company has to have a least $1bn in market capital and at least 10% of its revenues deriving from clean energy as defined by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

“After a divisive G20, we’re thrilled to see corporations around the world taking the initiative and making gains from clean energy,” said Andrew Behar, chief executive of non-profit As You Sow and report co-author. “Regardless of politics, market forces driving the economic benefits of clean energy are clear and are far more powerful than a small group a backward-looking men.”

The report comes in the same week that former US Vice President Al Gore said that Donald Trump has failed to knock the Paris climate agreement off course despite his efforts to derail it.

George Ogleby


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