Interview with Tabare Curras
Tabare A. Curras is the Advisor on Energy Economics at WWF International Global Climate & Energy Initiative
- Tell us about the work that you do and how it is making a difference in your community.
In simple words my job is about creating a new energy paradigm. For over 100 years, Latin America has relied on fossil energy to advance its economy. This has proved to be a cause of large environmental deterioration and main contribution to climate change. Fortunately, Latin America and the Caribbean are endowed with vast sources of clean, reliable and cheap renewable energy (wind, solar, geothermal, marine, sustainable biomass, etc.) that are yet to be exploited. My work is about helping governments, companies, and people to seize their own power to drive change and realizing that huge renewable energy potential. That is, enabling a new energy paradigm towards a Latin America and the Caribbean sustainable energy transformation.
- Why do you think that the Latin American community should be engaged in this issue?
Unless we do something now, climate change will strongly impact Latin America and the Caribbean. Rising seas, more frequent storms, more droughts are only a few of the possible impacts for the region if temperatures keep rising; climate change could cost up to 5% of the region’s GDP if we don’t do anything about it. Our region is only responsible for about 12.5% of the world’s global emissions, however we can severely be affected. That is why everyone must be engaged in dealing with the problem, especially as we all can be part of the solution. For instance, different to oil, gas or coal, renewable energy can help us reduce our footprint and limit our contribution to global warming; improve our health and environment quality; secure our energy supply; create nice jobs; and save us money. So… let’s work together to build more solar panels in schools; ask more companies to source their energy from wind farms; and request our governments to take climate change more seriously! Let’s all be accountable for that 12.5%! Solutions are at hand, but we need people's engagement to realize the change we need.
- What would be your vision for your work 10 years from now?
My vision is that Latin America and the Caribbean become global leaders in renewable energy and become the world’s example on climate change mitigation and adaptation. I think we deserve a better future: one cleaner, fairer and more innovative. Our region can change for good, and we all can be part of that change. We have the means to renew our future 100% with clean energy. That will be the greatest evolution ever; from dirty to green; from energy poverty to self-sufficiency; from social inequality to quality jobs. That is what I call “la #REvolución”.