US-China trade war sees share value of world’s greenest companies trail fossil fuel firms

22nd August 2018


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An escalating trade war between the US and China has seen the share values of fossil fuel companies outperform those of the 200 firms making most revenue from clean energy.

This is only the second time over the last two years that Clean200 companies have underperformed the S&P Global 1200 Energy Index, which comprises the world’s largest fossil fuel firms.

It comes after US tariffs on clean energy imports saw Chinese stocks fall across the board this year, while solar energy subsidy cuts in China have resulted in a major drop in the industry’s share prices.

The latest Clean200 list shows that Chinese companies now represent 15 of the 20 worst performing firms, and that if they were excluded, Clean200 stocks would have actually outperformed those of the fossil fuel industry.

Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow, which co-produced the list, said: “The global transition to clean energy, that must happen to avoid climate catastrophe, continues regardless.

“It is interesting to note that when you strip out Chinese stocks from the Clean200, it still outperforms the fossil fuel benchmark even during a period of volatility and policies aimed at harming clean energy companies.”

The top 10 firms for clean energy revenues are shown below:

© The White House

Toyota, Siemens, and Schneider Electric top the Clean200 list with total clean energy revenue of more than $100bn (£77.5bn), while the three best performing stocks have been Sumco Corp, Bombardier, and Kingspan Group over the last two years.

The Clean200 has generated a 16.5% return during that time, rising to 35.2% if excluding Chinese firms, compared with the 23.5% returned from the S&P 1200 Global Energy Index.

“No strategy outperforms in every period,” said Toby Heaps, CEO of Corporate Knights, which co-produced the list.

“But given the large Chinese company component of the Clean200, it is remarkable that the Clean200 has held up so well against the triple whammy of US-China trade war, surging oil prices, and the rolling back of Chinese solar subsidies.”

Image credit: The White House

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