22nd Mar 2018

US prevents G7 energy statement

  • Perry had reportedly wanted G7 conclusions to refer to coal and other fossil fuels (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

A meeting between energy ministers of the Group of Seven (G7) and the EU ended on Monday (10 April) without a joint statement, as the United States did not want to endorse a text that referred to the Paris climate agreement and the clean energy transition.

Italian energy minister Carlo Calenda told a news conference that there would be no joint statement, Italian media reported on Monday.

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A source close to the meeting confirmed US secretary of energy Rick Perry had informed his counterparts that the US was “reviewing” its climate and energy policies and therefore could not sign a joint declaration that referred to the treaty signed in Paris in 2015.

Perry reportedly had wanted the text to refer to coal and other fossil fuels. Last month, US president Donald Trump rolled back an Obama-era policy, the clean power plan, in an effort to bring back American jobs related to coal mining. Coal is the most polluting fossil fuel.

The Paris treaty is the first global agreement on curbing greenhouse gas emissions, in attempt to avert the most catastrophic consequence of climate change, but Trump has sent conflicting messages about whether the US would uphold its promises made in Paris.

On Sunday and Monday, Italy's Calenda hosted his colleagues from Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Climate action EU commissioner Miguel Arias Canete also attended, on behalf of the European Union.

In a written statement, commissioner Canete did not publicly criticise Perry, but did indirectly note his obstruction.

“While secretary Perry informed us that the US is currently reviewing its energy and climate policies, I was particularly pleased to see that all others joined the EU in reaffirming our solid commitment and determination to implement the Paris Agreement and continue the clean energy transition,” said Canete.

Merkel: Europe cannot rely on its allies anymore

The German chancellor said Europe must take its fate into its own hands in the era of Brexit and Trump, in a speech aimed at rallying support in Germany for her re-election.

US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions

Washington would still like to block a planned gas pipeline between Russia and Germany but is not yet considering hitting companies involved in the project.

EU to pump €101m into Cyprus gas network

The EU also agreed on financing a study into the Southern Gas Corridor, to send a signal that the EU is still invested in the project - but leaves questions over renewable energy sources.

Austria sues Commission over Hungary's nuclear plant

Anti-nuclear Austria takes the EU Commission to court over Hungary's controversial Paks II nuclear plant, financed and built by Russia. But it is the Euratom treaty itself that could be on trial.

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