Steve Sawyer came into the wind industry after a courageous and distinguished career as a campaigner and Director of Greenpeace International, where he notably campaigned against nuclear testing through voyages on the Rainbow Warrior, and led the campaign to hold the government of Francois Mitterrand to account following the bomb attack against the Warrior in July 1985. He faced personal danger on numerous occasions, before steering the organisation towards an increased emphasis on the issue of climate change, and with it, greater engagement with the nascent renewable energy industry.
He joined GWEC as its first General Secretary in 2007, as he was convinced that the wind industry would play a fundamental role in replacing greenhouse gas emissions and in leading the transition to a new energy system. For over 10 years, Steve tirelessly represented the wind industry and worked to convince governments to adopt wind as the solution to grow their economies while reducing emissions.
During Steve’s tenure at the head of GWEC, global wind installations grew from 74GW to 539GW and became one of the world’s most important energy sources. He contributed significantly to the development of the wind industry in places such as India, China, Brazil and South Africa. He was a prominent speaker in public and private forums, and wrote innumerable articles, blogs and position papers. He was a mentor to many young people and their inspiration for getting involved with wind energy, and he was a faithful and loyal friend to many of us in the industry.
Steve Sawyer was a true wind warrior and an inspiration for everyone involved in the climate and renewables area. Here at GWEC, we are determined to continue his legacy and passion for fighting climate change and creating a world that is powered by 100% renewable energy.