Target: Ramón Méndez, head of climate change policy in Uruguay
Goal: Praise Uruguay for its successful efforts to become more energy efficient.
The country of Uruguay has recently reported that it gets 94.5 percent of its electricity from renewable energy. What makes this feat truly amazing is how far the country has come in such a short amount of time. Uruguay created a twenty-five year energy plan in 2008 that has already paid off far ahead of schedule. Even more remarkably, it has proven that switching to clean energy doesn’t have to result in higher prices for consumers. The country has done an incredible job of switching to a low carbon lifestyle by executing a quick and efficient energy plan.
Fifteen years ago, oil accounted for 27 percent of the country’s imports. Today, its biggest import is wind turbines. Hydro power and solar power have also been drastically increased, and along with wind power, they compose 55 percent of the country’s overall energy mix, compared to the national average of 12 percent. Uruguay’s head of climate change policy, Ramón Méndez, has pointed to a few different factors leading to his country’s success.
There is a strong partnership between Uruguay’s public and private companies. Uruguay owns a national electric company, which auctions off power purchase agreements to private firms. The movement for more sustainable energy was also agreed upon by all political parties in the country. Méndez also said that “What we’ve learned is that renewables is just a financial business, and the construction and maintenance costs are low, so as long as you give investors a secure environment, it is a very attractive.” Uruguay has set an example for the rest of the world to follow. While their country is small in comparison to others that are trying to achieve greater uses of renewable energy, Méndez insists that their methods are very plausible for even larger countries. We should praise Uruguay for the great strides they’ve made in using renewable energy and how they have now set a precedent for other countries around the world.
Dear Mr. Méndez,
In a world that has been greatly damaged by pollution and the mass usage of natural resources, the country of Uruguay has proven that becoming largely dependent on renewable energy is attainable.
The way in which you and your government created a detailed plan and were able to receive support from all of your major political parties is truly inspiring. I also believe what makes the way Uruguay was able to carry out their plan attractive for other countries was how it positively affected their economy. I’m sure that many other countries’ primary concerns related to initiating large scale renewable energy plans were the costs of such plans. However, you have proven that this does not have to be a major concern.
The future of our planet depends on everyone putting forth more effort to make our daily lives more environmentally friendly. We commend you and your country’s efforts in taking advantage of technology that allows us to use renewable energy, and we hope the rest of the world follows in your footsteps.
[Your Name Here]
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