This was the startling message from Professor J. Li at the “Energy Choices for Europe” conference, which was held in Brussels (Belgium), on March 5, 2003.The one day cross party conference was organised by Touchstone Europe and sponsored by European Industry with an interest in energy including EFET (European Fusion Engineering and Technology), CEA, BP, Centrica and Areva.

Under the Presidency of Dr. G. Adam MEP the conference debated European long-tem energy needs together with the role which the different energy sources could play in the future. Energy supply, liberalisation of the energy market, climate change, green-house gas emissions, R&D policies were the background topics which provided the boundary conditions to define a future strategy.

All these aspects were analysed during a very intense day with the help of international speakers, such as members of the EU Parliament, EU Commission officials, energy experts and advisors.

The topics discussed included oil, renewables, fission, gas, energy efficiency, fusion, coal and an overview was provided on the state of art and the future development in these areas.

It was recognised that the European Union, through the Commission, Parliament and the Council of Ministers, is taking very seriously these issues – energy will be an important topic for the future development of the Union. The Green Book on Energy, published by the Commission in 2000, and similar documents in other EU countries provide a good basis for a debate and urge measures to be taken swiftly.

Prof. Sir D. King, Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Government, outlined the UK recent White Paper on Energy and the concerns that he had over global warming. He highlighted the fact that 1.6 billion people have no access to electricity, 2.4 billion have to rely on wood burning for cooking and heating and it would only take a one metre rise in sea level to lose 50% of Bangladesh. With this in mind he went on to present the case for fusion. He defined ITER as a kind of international “man-on-the-moon project”. G. Caudron MEP, who was the European Parliament’s Repporteur on Fusion for FP6, reiterated the need to give fusion the necessary support during FP7 to construct ITER. Prof. J. Li explained how fusion is urgently needed in China, which has triggered the current commitment for ITER. Mr. A. Vallée, President of EFET, underlined the role of industry in ITER and gave examples of the spin off in employment and competitiveness.

The provisional dates for the “Energy Choices for Europe Conference 2004” are March 2/3.

Participating Companies /




International Energy Agency (IEA):


World Nuclear Association: à l’Energie

Atomique (CEA):



Wuppertal Institute:

Energy Saving Trust:

Université de Liège:

Energy Charter: