Marcelo Andres Mena Carrasco

Centro de Acción Climática, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso | Chile
Director | Former Minister of Environment

Marcelo Mena is a scientist and professor turned activist and policymaker. He is the director of the Climate
Action Center at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (PUCV) and the Chile Office of the Global
Center on Adaptation. Previously he was the practice manager in climate research at the World Bank and
the former vice minister and minister of the environment for Chile under President Bachelet from 2014 to
2018. He spearheaded multiple environmental initiatives such as taxes on new car sales and power
generation based on local and global air pollution — the first of their kinds globally. He helped craft a
landmark agreement to phase out coal power generation, create 45 thousand square kilometers of national
parks, protect 1.3 million square kilometers of ocean and institute the first national plastic bag ban in the
Americas. At the World Bank, Mena helped create the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action, which
includes 53 ministers that manage 2.9 trillion dollars a year in national budgets, or 10 percent of global
GDP, contributed to the Action Plan on Climate Change Adaption and Resilience and helped design of the
new phase of NDC Support Facility. Mena earned his PhD in environmental engineering, focusing his research on estimating the externalities of
biofuels, power generation, transportation and residential heating. He used his research to advocate for
renewable energy and push for more stringent regulations to stop dirty coal power generation in Chile. In
his career, he has received awards from UNEP, National Geographic, Oceans Unite, NASA and EPA as
well as fellowships from MIT and the Fulbright Commission.