Energy in its varied forms has always been an essential component of our daily lives and of economic growth. The oil crisis of 1973-74 literally
shocked the nations of the industrial world into taking action to ensure that they would never again be so vulnerable to a major disruption in oil
supplies. The result was the creation in 1974 of the International Energy Agency (IEA), a co-operative grouping of most of the Member countries of the
OECD, committed to responding swiftly and effectively in future oil emergencies and to reducing their dependence on oil.
Measures to attain the first of these objectives included the establishment of adequate oil stocks, agreement to reduce consumption, and sharing of
supplies, if necessary. Member countries agreed to increase the efficiency of their use of energy, to conserve this valuable resource and to diversify
their energy supplies through development of alternatives to oil. They agreed to co-operate in the development of cleaner, more efficient energy
technologies. They also agreed to work to improve relations between oil-producing and consuming countries. Oil supply remains critical to the world
economy, and energy security remains a core objective of the IEA. Projections indicate a continued rise in IEA countries’ oil import dependence on
the Middle East. But the danger of an oil shock similar to that of 1973 is now much less. While there remain certain risks in the concentration of oil
supplies in one region of the world, today both consumers and producers understand their mutual dependence. Confrontation has given way to
Energy markets have changed significantly since 1974. Consumption patterns are shifting. The oil market, particularly, has become global rather than
regional. The trend toward open, pluralistic democracies and economies is matched by the trend toward open, expanding, competitive markets for energy.
As the world has evolved, so has the IEA. More than ever the Agency is an international forum for sharing information and ideas on the rational
management of world energy resources. Benefiting from unmatched sources in government and industry, our extensive statistical work and expanding data
bases, for example, provide information which contributes to openness and confidence in the energy markets. Our analyses of the energy policies of
Member and non-Member countries and our recommendations to governments contribute to more effective co-operation in the energy field.
Among the important challenges we face today is how to reconcile energy production and use with protection of the environment, including the global
climate. The IEA is strongly committed to helping countries meet both energy and environmental goals. Our studies in this area aim to assist in the
integration of environmental and energy policies.
Another challenge is to integrate all nations into a smoothly functioning world energy system. International trade in fossil fuels is increasing, and
the economies of the world are becoming increasingly interdependent. We look forward to developing further our relations with non-Member countries.
The fundamental link between economic growth and energy consumption remains. Our projections indicate a substantial growth in energy consumption over
the next 15 years, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region and in the transportation sector. Thus, the energy industry will be called on to supply far
more energy than in the past. The clearer our understanding of all these issues, the more accurately informed our decisions will be.
A great deal remains to be done. The International Energy Agency is the global mechanism chosen by governments to meet this challenge, through
collaborative endeavour by Members and non-Members alike.
Their website iswww.iea.org...