Xi pledge sparks rally in ‘clean energy’ shares

Xi pledge sparks rally in ‘clean energy’ shares

President Xi Jinping’s vow last month that China will be carbon neutral by 2060 and expectations that the US election could reshape America’s energy sector have fuelled a rally in global solar and wind producers.

Shares in the S&P Global Clean Energy index are up 71 per cent since the start of the year and by 22 per cent since Mr Xi’s speech on September 22, while Hong Kong shares of Chinese wind turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind — the world’s third-largest such group — have surged 46 per cent since the speech.

In July, US presidential hopeful Joe Biden put clean energy at the centre of a $2tn plan to revive the US economy. The candidate, who leads incumbent Donald Trump in national polls, is pledging to reduce emissions to net zero by 2050.

Mr Xi’s address to the UN two months later gave green energy stocks a further boost. “We aim to have CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060,” he told the General Assembly.

In early October, the world’s largest solar and wind power generator surpassed oil and gas giant ExxonMobil in stock market value. NextEra Energy, a Florida-based utility and power producer, rose to a market capitalisation of $138.6bn, exceeding Exxon’s by $700m. This year NextEra’s shares are up 25 per cent, while Exxon’s have lost 50 per cent.