Ramón Mendéz

World Energy Congress in South Korea
epa03912144 Ramon Mendez, National Director of Energy, Ministry of Industry, Eneergy and Mining,Uruguay, speaks about 'Ministerial dialogue : Energy in transition' during a session of the 22nd World Energy Congress at Exco Hall in Daegu, South Korea, 16 October 2013. The World Energy Congress under the theme 'Securing Tomorrow's Energy Today' is held from 13 until 17 October. EPA/JEON HEON-KYUNJeon Heon-Kyun — EPA/Corbis
  • Title
    Head of Climate Change Policy
  • Affiliation
  • Age

In the 1970s oil generated half of Uruguay’s electricity. Now renewables provide 94.5%, making this South American nation of 3 million a guiding light in how to decarbonize your economy. As national director of energy, Méndez oversaw the transformation, capitalizing on the nation’s blustery weather to build wind farms and tapping hydropower and biomass. “The decisions Uruguay took benefited the climate yet also made economic sense,” says Joe Thwaites, research analyst at the World Resources Institute. Méndez’s next ambitious goal: an 88% cut in carbon emissions by 2017.