Canada’s energy minister said the country must “respect” Joe Biden’s decision to scrap the controversial Keystone XL pipeline and dismissed calls from provincial politicians to pursue punitive measures against the US. “This was a significant campaign promise by candidate Biden. It is one that he has kept as President Biden,” said Seamus O’Regan, the natural resources minister in the federal Liberal government. “We have to respect that.”

His comments to the Financial Times suggest the federal government will make no further efforts to change Mr Biden’s mind, despite mounting anger about the decision in Canada’s oilproducing western provinces. “We made our case in every way we could,” Mr O’Regan said. But there is “every indication that he means business on this”, he added, referring to the new US president’s decision. Mr Biden made the cancellation of TC Energy’s permit to build the US leg of Keystone XL one of his first acts as president.

The $8bn project would have involved the construction of a pipeline to carry bitumen from the oil sands of northern Alberta to refineries in Texas.

Environmentalists cheered the move as a significant first step in The US move caused shock in Canada — and has opened another bitter schism between Ottawa and politicians in the western province of Alberta, who believe the federal government has been insufficiently supportive. Justin Trudeau, Canada’s prime minister, said in a statement shortly after the cancellation that he was “disappointed but acknowledge[d]” the decision.