World's Biggest Wind-Turbine Maker Falls as Trump Drops Paris

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  • Vestas is worst performing stock in benchmark Danish index
  • Company says exiting Paris makes little economic sense for US

What the U.S. Departure Means for the Paris Agreement

Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines, dropped to its lowest in more than 1 1/2 months after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Paris climate accord threw into doubt the future of renewable energy.

Vestas fell as much as 3 percent, and traded 2.3 percent lower at 571.50 kroner as of 12:53 p.m. in Copenhagen. It was the worst performing stock on the Copenhagen benchmark index of Denmark’s most traded companies, and was among the biggest losers in the Stoxx Europe 600 index, which was up about 0.7 percent overall.

Read more: Trump to exit climate pact as allies deride decision

Trump said late on Thursday he would pull the world’s biggest economy out of the Paris climate pact, arguing it puts American workers at a disadvantage. His announcement instantly drew severe criticism from leaders across the globe, with Nordic politicians, in particular, condemning the move. In Denmark, where Vestas is based, Energy Minister Lars Chr. Lilleholt says he’s planning a trip to the U.S. in the fall in an effort to promote renewable energy at the state level, “regardless” what Washington D.C. decides.

“Of course it would be better if the U.S. were to stay in the Paris Agreement,” Morten Dyrholm, Vestas senior VP marketing, communications and public affairs, said in an emailed comment to Bloomberg.

Vestas derives about 40 percent of its revenue from the Americas. Shares in the company plunged after it was clear that Trump, who has lashed out against wind turbine technology in the past, was the winner of the U.S. election in November. Vestas said a withdrawal from the climate pact makes little economic sense.

“The U.S. wind industry has broad bipartisan support because it is cost-effective and provides strong returns for investors,” Dyrholm said. Wind is “the lowest-cost energy source in many parts of the country; it’s compatible with farming, ranching, and hunting; it uses no water; it supports more than 100,000 jobs in 50 states, and it brings billions of dollars in economic development to the communities that host the projects.”

Vestas’s share-price decline provides an “excellent buying opportunity,” Kepler Cheuvreux analyst Douglas Lindahl said in an email. He said the same applies to shares of Gamesa Corp Tecnologica SA, a Spanish rival, which traded about 1 percent lower.

“More than 190 nations have signed the Paris agreement and the U.S. now joins a very small club of outsiders not part of the accord,” Lindahl said.

Read more: Blankfein tweets, Iger quits as executives react to Trump

Trump, who famously called climate change a “hoax” cooked up by the Chinese, campaigned on a pledge to support coal instead of renewable energy. In his speech on Thursday, he said he wants to “start to negotiate and we will see if we can make a deal.”

Withdrawal from the pact puts the U.S. in league with just two other nations -- Syria and Nicaragua -- that are not participating in the agreement.

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