chapter  8
12 Pages

The energy programme Gerald Leach

When IIED was born in 1973, the world energy scene was rather different from today’s. A quarter century of ever-increasing global energy consumption had led to many deep problems and concerns. In the industrialized world, at least, there was much talk of an ‘energy crisis’: nuclear power, acid rain, oil spills and the threat of dwindling fossil fuel resources were never far from the headlines. Political recognition of the climate change problem was still two decades away in the future. Oil cost only half as much as it had 20 years previously and there was still a year of calm to go before the sudden and massive price hikes of the winter of 1973/74. The fuelwood crisis of the South had yet to be discovered by the North.