Differences narrowed in the European Union over how to tackle the economic slowdown and global warming but a final deal on both issues proved elusive before a summit starting on Thursday.
Sources close to talks said Germany and Poland had reached an agreement on how to alleviate the impact of proposed new regulations on Poland's coal-fired power stations.
However Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi threatened to veto any climate deal that hurt Italy's interests too much.
The glittering prize at the two-day summit in Brussels would be an accord allows the 27-nation bloc to offer Barack Obama a partnership on both issues when he becomes president next year.
But agreements may be possible only on a minimal version of a proposed 200-billion euro ($259-billion) stimulus plan and on watered-down pledges on global warming that satisfy industry.
Despite resistance from around the EU to some parts of a scheme to cut ...