World is in its ‘first truly global energy crisis,’ says IEA chief economist
The International Energy Agency (IEA) head has called for urgent action from the world’s governments as the global energy market enters its latest period of disruption, and said the current slump was “among the worst we have seen”.
Speaking at an energy conference in Paris, Luis de Guindos said the downturn in the global energy market was “among the worst we have seen” as the supply and demand of energy had become distorted.
But he said the situation had now turned around and oil was about to recover.
“The world is entering its first truly global energy crisis,” Mr de Guindos said. “The market is breaking down, and the global economy is suffering as a consequence.
“This is happening in a world where there is no such thing as oil, since every country is using some kind of hybrid system.”
The world’s energy crisis now runs in parallel with a broader economic slowdown which has led to a collapse in the manufacturing sector, a decline in demand for food in the developing world, and a slowdown in industrial production.
The IEA chief said the “global economic recovery is fragile, and the energy system is in distress”, in the face of the “disorder”.
“What we’re seeing is a collapse in demand and a collapse in supply.
“The good news is that demand for energy is now increasing, but supply is increasing too.
“In the world today, oil is the new gold, but we are moving towards a world with no gold.”
The IEA chief said the current energy crisis was not just about supply and demand for oil, but a wider problem facing the world economy.
“The market for oil itself is already at a very low level,” he said. “It can’t last much longer.”
But he said there were still options for countries to use oil when the supply was running out, “provided they can keep prices in line and ensure we have a stable environment”.
Oil and gas are key sources of fuel in