First it was the credit crunch, now it looks like an oil crunch. The International Energy Agency is warning that, due to the economic downturn and reduced investment in oil, when demand picks up next year there may not be enough oil to go round.

Nobuo Tanaka, the IEA’s executive director, said that he expected world oil demand to rise by about one million barrels per day from next year. “Currently the demand is very low due to the very bad economic situation.

He added: “But when the economy starts growing, recovery comes again in 2010 and then onward, we may have another serious supply crunch if capital investment is not coming.”

The economic slowdown is also reducing investment in renewables. “Unfortunately we are seeing a deceleration occurring in the switch to renewables,” Tanaka said. “I don’t see much chance it (demand) could come back now, but if we do not invest in renewables now, it could bounce back when the economy starts to grow again,” he said.

Whatever happened to the Green New Deal and the forward thinking that the economic downturn could spur a green revolution?