European Commission president says EU must maintain its position as world leader in clean energy

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attended a closed cabinet meeting in Germany on Sunday.

It came just days after a decision on phasing out combustion engines in Europe was postponed because of German demands.

Speaking after the meeting, Von der Leyen said it was important to invest in the clean energy sector in Europe.

"We need to focus on the fact that in the future we'll maintain our position as a world leader in clean energy. For which it is necessary to improve the competitiveness and legal framework conditions of the sector," she said.

Von der Leyen said the EU was engaged in "constructive dialogue" with Germany about the controversial plan to ban the production of the internal combustion engines in vehicles by 2035.

“There is full support for the principle of technological openness, but this must also always be balanced with our climate policy goals,” she stressed.

Von der Leyen is due to meet with US President Joe Biden on 10 March during which they will discuss clean energy and supply chains.

European nations are worried about the impact that US green subsidy scheme will have on European businesses.