The U.S. refused to sign onto a statement with other G7 countries to commit to the implementation of the Paris climate agreement, which President Donald Trump promised to withdraw from on the campaign trail.
Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said the U.S. “is in the process of reviewing many of its policies and reserves its position on this issue, which will be communicated at a future date,” Italy’s industry and energy minister Carlo Calenda said in a statement.
Calenda said other G7 members “reaffirmed their commitment towards the implementation of the Paris Agreement to effectively limit the increase in global temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial level.”
The Trump administration would not sign onto a statement mentioning Paris, since the president is still deciding whether or not to keep his campaign pledge. Perry also wanted the G7 to include support for coal and natural gas in its statement.
“Therefore, we believe it is wise for countries to use and pursue highly efficient energy resources,” Perry said in a statement after his meeting in Rome with energy ministers from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the European Union.
Perry specifically pushed for a commitment to “[h]igh efficiency, low-emission coal and natural gas with adequate financing from multi-lateral development banks and private sector investment.”
Perry also advocated for “[a]dvanced civil-nuclear technologies that are proliferation resistant, produce little to no waste and ensure safety.”
“Innovation is also a top priority for the Trump Administration,” Perry said. “We are committed to developing, deploying and commercializing breakthrough technologies and developing the necessary policies that will help renewables become competitive with traditional sources of energy.”
Italy, which hosted this year’s G7 meeting, pushed to include the Paris agreement in a policy statement member countries typically sign after these meetings end. No statement was signed since Perry couldn’t commit to backing Paris.
The Paris agreement went into effect in 2016, committing United Nations members to reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming. President Barack Obama committed the U.S. to cut emissions 26 to 28 percent by 2025.
Trump promised to withdraw from the Paris agreement on the campaign trail, and the president has already issued executive orders to dismantle the regulatory regime Obama relied on to meet his Paris pledge.
The White house is split on whether or not to keep Trump’s campaign pledge. On one side, Ivanka Trump, White House aide Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson support remaining in Paris.
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt oppose the Paris agreement.
European diplomats have been lobbying the Trump administration to stay in the Paris agreement, touting the potential jobs created by expanded green energy use.
Most Republicans oppose the Paris agreement, but at least one GOP lawmakers suggested Trump should stay in the agreement in exchange for more subsidies for clean coal technology.
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