Solar and wind power producer NextEra surpasses oil giant ExxonMobil in terms of stock market value. ExxonMobil was once the world’s public company.

Each week we summarize three pieces of news that give us hope for a greener, brighter future. Sign up for our weekly newsletter to have Hopeful Headlines sent directly to your email inbox.

Clean energy group NextEra surpasses ExxonMobil in market cap

By Gregory Meyer, Financial Times, October 2, 2020

  • The market value of NextEra, “the world’s largest solar and wind power generator,” surpassed that of ExxonMobil, which was valued at over $500bn in 2007. The milestone likely reflects a shift in investor confidence in favor of renewable energy.
  • NextEra “gained more than two-thirds in the past two years” to reach a market value of $138.6bn. Meanwhile, ExxonMobil has “lost more than half its value since the start of the year” and was valued at $137.9bn in the beginning of October.

Why does it matter: Investor pressure is a significant source of influence that could change how energy companies operate. It’s clear that renewable energy is gaining momentum while fossil fuels swimming upstream.

Joe Biden’s new climate ad addresses the plight of American farmers

*This is not an endorsement of any political candidate — simply an acknowledgement of the a milestone in climate-centered political advertising.

By Zoya Teirstein, Grist, October 6, 2020

  • A TV ad featuring the climate concerns of fruit growers in northern Michigan is considered the first of its kind in the U.S. from a presidential nominee of a major party. Visit the article to watch advertisement.
  • Michigan tart cherry growers face climate-related challenges including erratic spring weather and pollinator decline. The ad depicts John King, co-owner of King Orchards saying “As I think about my grandchildren and the world we live in, I think it’s very important to adopt measures to mitigate climate change.”
  • From the article: “A 2019 poll showed a majority of registered voters in five major agricultural states consider extreme weather to be a significant threat to farmers and their communities. Sixty-three percent of Michigan voters said they think climate change is affecting local agriculture.”

Why it matters: Climate has emerged as a top-level issue on an already top-heavy ticket featuring covid-19, economic recession, healthcare, civil unrest, a supreme court vacancy and election security.

Pension Funds Around The World Moving To Abandon Investments In Fossil Fuels

By Palash Ghosh, International Business Times, October 3, 2020

  • Citing environmental and economic concerns, elected officials in New Jersey are pushing forward on a plan “which calls for the state pension fund to withdraw from fossil fuels.”
  • From the article: “Specifically, the bill would prohibit state pension funds from investing in any of the top 200 companies “that hold the largest carbon content fossil fuel reserves.” The bill also mandates total divestment from coal companies within two years, and withdrawal from all other fossil fuel companies by Jan. 1, 2022.”
  • Many state, municipal and national pension funds have already divested from fossil fuels. That list includes $900 million from the Parliamentary Pension Fund of the British government and $189 billion from New York City’s pension fund.

Why does it matter: If politicians are moving their own retirement funds away from fossil fuels, it’s probably a sign to pay attention. Fossil fuels are clearly an inferior investment option.

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Feature photo by Nicholas Doherty on Unsplash