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US Blocks G7 Climate Statement As White House Waffles on Paris Deal

The U.S. is still debating its commitment to the landmark climate agreement

Energy Secretary Rick Perry reportedly pushed for fossil fuel interests to be included in the statement—and his inability to commit showed the U.S.'s isolation at the meeting. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

Nations attending the Group of 7 (G7) conference in Italy were unable to put out a joint statement on climate change this week because of the Trump administration's foot-dragging on environmental policies, particularly its commitment to the Paris agreement, Reuters reported Monday.

President Donald Trump signed an order last month undoing climate regulations drawn up under former President Barack Obama, particularly the Clean Power Plan (CPP), which required states to lower their carbon emissions and was a key policy in helping the U.S. meet its goals under the climate agreement.

At the conference in Rome on Monday, Italian industry and energy minister Carlo Calenda confirmed that had caused the G7's delay in releasing a statement.

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

A source close to the G7 talks also told Reuters that Energy Secretary Rick Perry had pushed for fossil fuel interests to be included in the statement—and that his inability to commit showed the U.S.'s increasing isolation as global nations step up the fight against climate change.

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."

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