Perry urges “low emission” coal and gas at G7

United States Energy Secretary Rick Perry speaks to an unidentified woman ahead of a G7 Energy meeting, in Rome on Monday. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Energy Secretary Rick Perry urged countries to pursue energy projects using “high efficiency, low-emission coal and natural gas,” at a meeting with energy ministers from the world’s largest economies in Rome Monday.

“Renewables will continue to have an important role but traditional sources are still needed for energy and economic security into the foreseeable future,” Perry said in a statement.

The comments came after the so-called G7 countries failed to agree on a joint statement on climate change, as President Donald Trump threatens to upend what had been a consensus between the world’s major economies following the Paris climate accord in 2015.

Carlo Calenda, the Italian minister for economic development who chaired the meeting, said the United States had “reserved its position,” according to the news service AFP. Trump has not yet said whether he intends to keep the United States in the Paris accord but least month announced his administration would review a host of environmental regulations enacted by former President Barack Obama to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Perry promised that the Trump administration would continue work to advance renewable, low carbon forms of energy. He also urged energy ministers to support the development of advanced nuclear reactors “that are proliferation resistant, produce little to no waste and ensure safety.”

“Innovation is also a top priority for the Trump administration. 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,” he said.