According to Norwegian energy giant Statoil, the delays to a global climate treaty are likely to impede oil and gas investments.
The comment, by Statoil chief executive Helge Lund, was made as global leaders admit that the chances of agreeing to a binding treaty at December's climate summit in Copenhagen are dwindling.
Lund said that the uncertainty surrounding climate regulations had led to no clear framework for the industry and therefore a drop in investment. He also said it was important to view energy supply problems and greenhouse gas emissions as an integrated challenge.
The International Energy Agency has also raised concerns about the future after stating that industry global upstream spending would drop by 19% this year, because of the financial crisis and lower energy prices making oil companies more cautious on new investment plans.
The agency also said it is concerned that limits on supply capacity may create a price spike once the economy recovers.