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Cablegate: Poland: Environment and Science Initiatives

VZCZCXRO9735
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHWR #0563/01 0671345
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 081345Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY WARSAW
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3484
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHKW/AMCONSUL KRAKOW 1626
RUEAEPA/HQ EPA WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 WARSAW 000563

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EUR/NCE, EUR/ERA, EUR/PGI, OES/GC, OES/STC, OES/ENV,
OES/PCI, G, EB/ESC, EUR/PPD
EUR/NCE FOR DKOSTELANCIK AND BPUTNEY
EUR/PGI FOR IVAN WEINSTEIN
EUR/PPD FOR BUSHNAQ
WHITE HOUSE FOR CEQ DAVE BANKS
DEPT PASS USTR FOR WMOORE
COMMERCE FOR 4232/ITA/MAC/EUR/JBURGESS, JKIMBALL, MWILSON
DOE FOR LEKIMOFF, MGINSBERG, GKERESTES
EPA FOR APHILLIPS, KBUCKLEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON SENV KPAO ENRG PL

SUBJECT: POLAND: ENVIRONMENT AND SCIENCE INITIATIVES
REF: A) STATE 14726, B) 06 WARSAW 2395

WARSAW 00000563 001.2 OF 003


1. In response to ref A, post takes the opportunity to highlight
post initiatives in environment and science. Various initiatives
are already underway and post is planning for continued and
increased cooperation in these areas. The Ambassadorplays a
significant role in many of the environmental and scientific efforts
put forward by post, and in the recruitment of U.S. high tech
investors. These activities are central to achievement of our
mission goals. Below is a summary of the various initiatives in
environment and science that post is involved in.

-------------------------------------
2. Science and Technology Cooperation
-------------------------------------

-- Post alongside the Department and Washington agencies worked to
achieve a U.S.-Polish Science and Technology Cooperation Agreement
in 2006. The Agreement creates the legal framework to allow
bilateral cooperation in science and technology between U.S.
partners and Poland's national research institutes and universities.
For the Polish side, the Agreement removes various administrative
obstacles to transatlantic scientific collaboration and encourages
joint research, conferences, and the exchange of people and ideas.

-- The embassy actively assists in the recruitment of U.S. high-tech
firms as investors in Poland. The decisions of such firms as Intel,
Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Motorola, General Electric, United
Technologies, Bunge, and Dell to expand R&D capabilities or locate
new high-tech investments in Poland have been strongly supported by
the Embassy. Collectively, these firms now employ thousands of
software programmers, engineers, and scientific personnel in
Poland.

-- The embassy advocates extensively on behalf of U.S. investors for
improvements to Poland's business environment that will permit
greater investment in advanced technology.

-- Post is working with the Department of State's Science and
Technology Advisor's office to create a program that would encourage
additional Polish scientists to study in the U.S.

-- To promote research cooperation with the U.S. private sector, the
Ambassador hosted a reception in September 2006 for Poland's top
scientists and researchers as well as representatives of the U.S.
business community.

----------------
3. Clean Energy
----------------

-- Post is working with the Ministry of Economy on its plans to host
either a Clean Energy Ministerial or Clean Energy seminar for later
in 2007. The high-level conference would demonstrate Poland's
leadership in introducing new clean energy technologies into the
region.

-- As part of a regional effort with Embassies Prague, Bratislava,
and Budapest, Warsaw FCS is organizing a renewable energy trade
mission to the region in fall 2007. The mission would help to
introduce renewable energy technologies and companies to the region
and raise the awareness of how the development of renewables could
help address energy security concerns.

-- Following the visit of Council of Environmental Quality Chairman
Connaughton to Poland in October 2006, post has been in close
discussion with GOP contacts, attempting to connect them with USG
experts to learn more about clean energy technologies and how the
USG has implemented incentives for the private sector.

-- Post is working to convince Poland to join the Department of
Energy's Future-Gen program.

-- Post hopes to further the dialogue on clean energy with GOP
contacts nominated for the International Visitor Leadership Program
European Regional Program on clean energy.

WARSAW 00000563 002.2 OF 003

-- Efforts are also underway to help GOP scientists find locations
in the U.S. to research clean energy technologies. Post has been
asked by the Ministry of Environment to assist in finding
universities or labs where Polish PhD engineers affiliated with the
Environment Ministry can be exposed to state-of-the-art clean energy
technology. Post is awaiting a determination from the Department of
Energy or the Science and Technology Advisor's office on appropriate
institutions to host such personnel.

-----------------
4. Climate Change
-----------------

-- In February 2007, post co-sponsored the Polish premiere of Al
Gore's movie on global warming, "An Inconvenient Truth," and used
the occasion to articulate U.S. policy on climate change and to
highlight USG efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The
screening, at an environmental and clean energy trade fair, enabled
post to reach an eager audience of nearly 200 environmentally
conscious Poles, while delivering an important message of USG
concern for the environment and involvement in addressing the
issue.

-- For Earth Day 2007, post plans to collaborate with the local
GLOBE program in celebration of its 10th anniversary in Poland.
Through PAS's Mission Speaker's Bureau, post plans to send embassy
representatives to speak at various GLOBE schools and participate in
Earth Day activities.

-- Post is facilitating contact between GOP emissions trading
experts and those who handle similar issues in the USG. GOP experts
are eager to learn from the U.S. experience in trading SO2 and also
in creating a pollutant inventory to learn how to better implement
both in Poland. Through embassy asssitance, Polish experts are
gaining from the U.S. experience in these areas.

----------------------
5. Other Environmental
----------------------

-- Poland recently joined the Methane to Markets International
Partnership. Post plans to capitalize on this new area of
cooperation by encouraging Poles to share their expertise in the
mining sector and also to cooperate on projects to learn from others
how to better utilize methane for energy.

-- On a regular basis the Ambassador makes an effort to visit
national parks in Poland and encourage proper stewardship of nature.
The Ambassador sponsored the first reception ever by the Embassy
for Poland's National Park Directors to highlight interest in this
area.

-- In 2006 a group of Polish national park directors participated in
an International Visitor Leadership Program and post hopes to send
another such group in 2007. Such cooperation helps to prepare
Poland's parks to deal with increased levels of urban encroachment
and park visitors, while protecting Poland's diverse wildlife.

-- PAS conducts a speaker's series that brings experts to Poland to
speak on urban economic revitalization - topics addressed include
environmental reclamation and protection, both things Poland has to
grapple with as its economy is growing so rapidly.

-- Post participates as a council member of the ECOFUND, a
non-profit fund established substantially out of a portion of
Poland's former debt to the United States at the time of its Paris
club rescheduling. The U.S. was, in effect, the largest donor to
the fund, accounting for over half of its capital. In 2007, the
fund expects to help finance projects worth $30 million.

----------
6. Science
----------

WARSAW 00000563 003.2 OF 003

-- A Department of Energy-funded project is underway to convert a
Polish nuclear research reactor to low-enriched uranium from
highly-enriched uranium. Post works closely with all parties
involved to ensure the process continues according to schedule.

-- The Department of Energy is also funding a project to transport
spent fuel from Poland's nuclear research reactor to Russia for
safer storage.

-- Post participated in the 10th annual Warsaw Science Picnic,
displaying a photo exhibit "Mars: Mission Possible" and hosting an
interactive demonstration of a miniature version of the Mars rover.

-- Post is working with NASA to create an exhibit entitled "Return
to the Moon" which will pair information about the first moon
landing with the strategic plan to return to the moon in the next
decade. This exhibit will be used for the 2007 Warsaw Science
Picnic, a large open air fair attended by as many as 100,000 people,
for Satellite Days, organized by the Polish Academy of Science and
the Polish Space Research Center to show the benefits of satellites
and space research, and for events celebrating the 50th Anniversary
of Space Exploration.

----------------------
7. COMMERCIAL ADVOCACY
----------------------

-- Post is supporting GE in its attempt to build a coal gasification
power plant in Poland. The potential $2 billion investment will
take advantage of Poland's huge coal reserves (the largest in
Europe) to provide a cleaner fuel for electric power generation. GE
is still negotiating with partners and hopes to have a feasibility
study done in 2008, and then a facility up and running by 2013.

-- Post is also involved in supporting Caterpillar Power Ventures in
its investment dispute surrounding the production and sale of clean
energy. This $40 million environmentally sound cogeneration plant
in Starachowice, Poland was completed in September 2004. However,
because of protracted and difficult negotiations with the Polish
electricity regulator, the URE, to establish a viable tariff rate
agreement, the power plant has not been paid for excess power sold
to the national grid. Despite considerable USG advocacy on
Caterpillar's behalf, there is still no resolution and the plant has
basically remained idle. The latest proposal from the GOP involves
new legislation in an Energy Law that might help resolve this
longstanding issue.

--------------
Action Request
--------------

8. The close cooperation various embassy sections have had with
Polish counterparts in the areas of environment and science is
evident as projects move forward. Poles are eager to learn more
about U.S. technologies and concerns in these areas and regularly
seek contact with U.S. scientists and experts. Any additional
specific/technical information Washington can share with the field
about USG initiatives would be welcome by Polish contacts.
Additionally, Washington visitors focusing on these areas will find
an attentive audience in Poland.

9. Specifically, post seeks the Department's assistance in
identifying universities or labs where Polish engineers may conduct
research on clean energy technologies, as mentioned in paragraph 3.

ASHE

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