The Energy of Nations

Risk Blindness and the Road to Renaissance

Systemic risks of oil supply, climate shock and financial collapse threaten tomorrow’s economies and mean businesses and policy makers face huge challenges in fuelling tomorrow’s world.

Jeremy Leggett gives a personal testimony, spanning the years 2003 to 2013, of the dangers often ignored and incompletely understood – a journey through the human mind, the institutionalization of denial, and the reasons civilizations fail. It is also an account of tantalizing hope, because mobiliizing renewables and redeploying energy funding can soften the crash of modern capitalism and set us on a road to renaissance.

Read the preface and first chapter.

News Release

Comments on The Energy of Nations:

Stephan Schmidheiny, founder, World Council for Sustainable Development

A story very well told. As far as I am aware there is no one on this planet who has a comparable all-encompassing, multi-disciplinary view and understanding of these issues to Leggett’s.

Walt Patterson, Associate Fellow, Royal Institution for International Affairs

Vivid, insightful, riveting – an eyewitness despatch from the front lines of the energy war. Official misinformation, self-delusion and denial about the true state of world oil and gas threaten us with global chaos, within the coming decade. Jeremy Leggett foresees the chaos jolting governments to cooperate at last, on sensible policies. We have to hope he’s right.

Stephan Dolezalek, Managing Director, Vantage Point Capital Partners.

It really is a terrific read – very unveiling of our human struggle between greed and legacy.

Adam Poole, Analyst, Buro-Happold

I was so captivated by it. The narrative device of running the years and the oil price gives it power and tension. The inter-weaving of account and candid diary makes one feel one has a front-row seat at the places where things almost happen.

Pamela Hartigan, Director, Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, Said Business School, University of Oxford

I was hooked within the first few pages.

Mark Prain, Executive Director, Hillary Institute of International Leadership

The narrative flows compellingly, filmically, almost like an airport thriller.

Paul Dickinson, Chairman, Carbon Disclosure Project.

To understand what is going on you need to be a polymath who has worked at the highest levels on all sides. Jeremy Leggett is that person, and he provides clarity of thinking in a consistently delightful written style.

Rob Hopkins, founder, Transition Network.

This has to be the first real peak oil pageturner. It’s gripping stuff. Leggett may well have a future career as a writer of thrillers.

John Elkington, cofounder of ENDS, SustainAbility and Volans.

At a time when most people view tomorrow’s energy prospects through dark lenses of coal, oil, fracked gas or even methane hydrates, Jeremy Leggett shines a brilliant light on the path towards low or zero carbon energy. Illuminating. And a joy to read.

Bill McKibben, Founder,

Brilliant–a real roadmap to the future. And a perfect reminder of why we must leave most fossil fuel safely in the ground.

Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future

Jeremy Leggett is one of great entrepreneurs of the emerging solar era, a man driven by his passion for the environment and for social justice in the developing world to set up a new business (and a new charity) to give expression to those ideas. ‘ The Energy of Nations’ tells it as it needs to be heard, with new – and genuinely sustainable – business models at the heart of  the transformation going on today in the global economy.

Kieran Cooke, Climate News Network

Leggett has the great gift of making his subject – the energy sector and its impact on climate change – as readable as any good novel.

Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin Group

As Jeremy Leggett outlines in his latest book, The Energy of Nations, businesses, including ours, need to accept that climate change presents direct and substantial risks. From direct economic shocks caused by changes to the climate system, to a ‘carbon bubble’ when climate policy eventually catches up with emitters and forces them to pay for the greenhouse gases they’ve released. However ‘good’ or ‘bad’ your business may currently be – everybody has a responsibility to do something about it.

Hazel Henderson, President, Ethical Markets Media

The Energy of Nations is the key to the “next big thing” for investors and asset managers worldwide.

Nick Robins, head of HSBC Climate Change Centre of Excellence.

As close to a real-time thriller as the energy sector gets. ….What makes Leggett’s take compelling is his argument that the human and technological preconditions are coming into place, as the costs of clean-tech fall, and community innovation grows on the back of internet-enabled peer-to-peer lending.

Asher Miller, Executive Director, Post Carbon Institute.

A fantastic book. Jeremy Leggett is one of the few who straddles peak oil, climate change, and the world of business.