Steve Sawyer Memorial Event.

09 08 2019 | 08:12

As many of you already know, last week we mourned the loss of Steve Sawyer, a founder of GWEC and Secretary general for over 10 years after a short but intense struggle with cancer. 

Steve came into the wind industry after a courageous and distinguished career as a campaigner with Greenpeace International. He faced personal danger on numerous occasions and steered the organisation to a greater engagement with the nascent renewable energy industry.

He joined GWEC as its first General Secretary in 2007. For over 10 years, Steve tirelessly represented the wind industry and worked to convince governments to adopt wind as the solution to grow energy demand and carbon 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.

Many of you worked and were friends with Steve over the years, and know first hand the impact he had on the wind industry and was an inspiration for all of us. 

Greenpeace, GWEC and Steve's family are organising a memorial service to celebrate his life on the 27 August from 14:00-17:00 in Amsterdam. We are inviting everyone who knew him to attend this memorial service to say farewell to a champion of the environmental movement and our friend. For more details and to attend the service, please register here. The memorial will also be live streamed on

In keeping with Steve's values, the family would prefer that money spent on flowers be put to better use by supporting young activists working for a safe climate and clean energy future. Information on how to send your donation can be found here.

Greenpeace and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC), in consultation with Steve’s family, will ensure that these funds are used for projects or initiatives aimed at driving the kind of change to which Steve devoted his life.  

We would also encourage everyone to share their stories about Steve to celebrate his extraordinary life on his blog here.

If you have any questions about his memorial service, please get in touch with Alyssa Pek

I look forward to seeing many of you at the memorial service to celebrate the life of Steve, a true champion and leader for the wind industry.

Ben Backwell
Global Wind Energy Council



8 August 2019