Italian officials have blamed the US for the failure of G7 energy ministers to sign a joint statement at the end of their meeting in Rome on Monday.
Carlo Calenda, Italy’s economic development minister and the host of the gathering, said that it was “not possible” to sign a joint statement on all points because the “US administration is reviewing” its energy policy.
Italian officials had wanted language reaffirming the G7′s clear commitment to the Paris climate change accord and decarbonisation – a view shared by the other G7 nations except the US. “Without this, it would have been unacceptable, it would have been step backwards,” said one Italian official.
Concern has risen that Washington would undermine the global push to fight climate change in the wake of Donald Trump’s attempts to roll back regulations reducing carbon emissions.
But the US has not taken a position on the Paris climate agreement – and officials hope that the situation might be clearer by the time G7 leaders meet in Taormina, Sicily, next month.
“It was a very constructive debate with the US, there was no friction,” Mr Calenda said. “We respect the fact that the US is re-analysing its position”.
On many of the other points, such as opening up the global gas market and securing energy sources from cyber-attacks, officials said there was convergence. A deal on the side to monitor gas flows through Ukraine was also agreed.