US delays G7 climate statement

US delays G7 climate statement
© Greg Nash

Nations attending a G7 summit could not release a joint climate statement at the end of a meeting this week because the Trump administration is reviewing its policies.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry attended the G7 energy summit in Rome this weekend. But Italian officials said the U.S. was not able to sign a joint declaration about shared economic goals. 

“The United States is in the process of reviewing many of its policies. This includes a review of policies relating to climate change and the Paris agreement," Italian Industry Minister Carlo Calenda said, Reuters reported Monday

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“While this is under way, the United States reserves its position on these key priorities. ... It was not possible to sign a joint declaration since it would not cover the whole range of topics in the agenda.”

The Energy Department did not immediately return a request for comment. 

Trump and his administration are reassessing the commitments former President Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaGOP rep: North Korea wants Iran-type nuclear deal Dems fear lasting damage from Clinton-Sanders fight Iran's president warns US will pay 'high cost' if Trump ditches nuclear deal MORE made via international climate agreements during his administration, including the U.S.’s involvement in the landmark Paris climate deal reached in 2015. 

European officials told the Financial Times that they had hoped to include language related to the G7’s involvement in the Paris deal as part of the group’s joint declaration, but that the U.S. delegation objected. 

Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Union’s energy and climate commissioner, tweeted Monday that “while some review their climate and clean energy policies, most of us move forward and implement them in line with [the] Paris agreement.”

In his own readout from the Rome meeting, Perry didn’t address the issue regarding the joint climate statement or the Paris agreement.

But he reiterated the position that he and Trump take, that fossil fuels can still be used while the environment gets cleaner.

“I discussed with my fellow ministers that the Trump administration believes that economic growth and the environment can successfully go hand-in-hand,” Perry said in his statement.

“As the [International Energy Agency] shared with us during the meeting, renewables will continue to have an important role but traditional sources are still needed for energy and economic security into the foreseeable future,” he continued. “Therefore, we believe it is wise for countries to use and pursue highly efficient energy resources.”

— Updated at 12:25 p.m. Timothy Cama contributed.