US asks for more time on climate policy at G7 meeting

Carlo Calenda, Italian Minister of Economic Development, speaks during the second day of the G7 Energy Ministerial Meeting at the Farnesina Palace in Rome, Italy, 10 April 2017. [Massimo Percossi/ EPA]

The G7’s advanced economies did not sign a joint declaration at the end of an energy meeting in Rome as the administration of US President Donald Trump needs more time to work on its climate policy, an Italian minister said today (10 April).

“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 on the sidelines of the meeting.

“While this is underway 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,” he added.

Calenda said that all other European Union countries remained strongly committed to the Paris accord to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič recently said that his impressions from a visit to the US were that the Trump administration needs more time to decide its climate policy.

Sefcovic debriefs following landmark US visit

Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič told the Brussels press yesterday (13 March) about his visit to the US last week (6-9 March), which was also one of the first meetings of the EU executive with the new administration of Donald Trump.

During his election campaign, Trump said he would withdraw from the Paris Agreement and abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Trump aide: US withdrawal from Paris Agreement 'could happen any day'

The US will initiate all of Donald Trump’s major climate change policy changes – including highly controversial moves to withdraw from the Paris Agreement and abolish the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) – in the next few months, a key aide of the president told Euractiv’s media partner edie.net.

The G7’s foreign ministers are meeting today and tomorrow in Lucca, close to Florence. Representatives from the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, Italy, France and Canada are in attendance.