US clean energy shares climbed at the end of last week after Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden used Thursday’s final pre-election debate to pledge a transition to a more climate-friendly economy. With the odds of a Democratic victory on November 3 appearing to shorten – and despite memories of the dramatic 2016 upset still all-too fresh in investors’ minds – shares of Renesola, Jinkosolar Holding, Canadian Solar and SunPower were up between 2% and 3% in premarket trading on Monday.
When asked at the Nashville showdown what he would do to combat climate change (the first time the question has been raised in these pre-election debates), Biden said the country should eventually replace oil with solar, wind and other forms of non-polluting power. The transition process to a more climate-friendly economy would, he said, create high-paying jobs and boost U.S. business.
“We’re not getting rid of fossil fuels,” he told the assembled press after the debate. “We’re getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels. But we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time…they’re not going to lose their jobs. Besides, a lot more jobs are going to be created in other alternatives.”
On the opposite shores of the Pacific, meanwhile, last month’s pledge from Chinese President Xi Jinpjing to make the Middle Kingdom carbon neutral within 40 years has also helped drive shares in solar and wind producers upwards.
Shares in the S&P Global Clean Energy index – which tracks 30 companies from around the world that are involved in clean energy related businesses, and which is currently dominated by companies involved in clean energy production and clean energy equipment and technology manufacture – .are up 71% since the start of the year and by 22% since Mr Xi made his commitment. One of the biggest winners has been Chinese wind turbine maker Xinjiang Goldwind whose shares have surged 46% in the past month.