As campaigners, governments and environmental experts debate how to phase out fossil fuels, one answer could lie in how Uruguay has almost phased out fossil fuels in electricity production over the last decade and a half. Depending on the weather, anything between 90% and 95% of its power comes from renewables. Over a decade, Uruguay installed about 50 windfarms across the country, decarbonised the grid, bolstered its hydropower, and created 50,000 new jobs. The idea of a “just transition”, in which nobody was left behind, became central, and some workers were offered places on retraining schemes to adapt to the new normal. Others were able to take advantage of the changes. Uruguay has moved on to what is becoming known as the second stage of its transition. It is gradually moving its buses and public vehicles over to electric, and incentivising taxi and minicab drivers to switch.

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