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Cablegate: U.S. Bilaterals at the Un Commission On

VZCZCXYZ0015
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0415/01 1452114
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 252114Z MAY 07
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0934
RUEHCH/AMEMBASSY CHISINAU 0057
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 0482
RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 1486
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0971
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1724
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0805
RUEHTC/AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE 8880
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 8288
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 2748
RUEHYD/AMEMBASSY YAOUNDE 0224
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 USUN NEW YORK 000415

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

MOSCOW ALSO FOR USDA - ALAN MUSTARD
USDA WASHDC FOR FAS:LBARBIERI

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON KGCC SENV EAID EAGR CH MD FI PK RS IN
KS, NL, JA, NZ, CM
SUBJECT: U.S. BILATERALS AT THE UN COMMISSION ON
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT, MAY 9-11


USUN NEW Y 00000415 001.2 OF 004


-------
Summary
-------

1. (U) Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula
Dobriansky took advantage of the ministerial segment of the
UN Commission on Sustainable Development's 15th Session
(CSD-15) May 9-11 to conduct a number of bilateral
discussions with key states, with climate change, energy and
economic development being the main themes. OES DAS
Reifsnyder held separate bilaterals with Moldova and Cameroon
that covered requests for assistance and investment. End
summary.

-----
China
-----

2. (U) Minister and Vice-Chairman of the National Development
and Reform Commission Zhang Guobao underscored his country's
desire to enhance bilateral cooperation on climate change and
energy issues, and China's strong interest in acquiring new
technology and expanding use of renewable energy sources.
Zhang preached the theme of "common but differentiated
responsibility" as the "equation" for determining the levels
of climate change cooperation among developing and developed
states, respectively. Given the keen international attention
on climate change at present, Zhang said it was important
that China and the U.S. take "visible steps" to appease this
global concern. He also briefed on China's national
anti-pollution strategies and targets, admitting that
progress toward stated goals has been disappointing. U/S
Dobriansky applauded China's efforts and bilateral
interaction, noting that the Asia-Pacific Partnership on
Clean Development and Climate (APP) was a perfect
illustration of the flexible and pragmatic cooperation that
can be achieved to combat climate change. Zhang closed with
an appeal for increased technology transfer to boost energy
efficiency and conservation, which is a key focus of his
Commission. Both sides looked forward to the upcoming round
of the U.S.-China Strategic Economic Dialogue taking place in
Washington, DC, later in May.

------
Russia
------

3. (U) Konstantin Pulikovskiy, head of the Russian Federal
Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service (Rostechnadzor),
expressed close affinity with U.S. positions on energy and
climate change at the CSD. He shared concern that European
Union (EU) positions take an unduly restrictive attitude
toward the diversity of energy sources nations will call upon
to meet national needs, and feared that any multilateral
negotiations on a post-Kyoto Protocol climate change
framework agreement would waste several years to achieve an
uncertain outcome, to the disadvantage of bilateral efforts
that bear much more immediate and visible results.
Underscoring his belief that energy independence was
unattainable, Pulikovskiy stated that Russia would invest in
renewable energy, biofuels, hydrogen and low-carbon fuels,
and focus particularly on an "ambitious" nuclear energy plan.
Certain that government financing alone would be
insufficient to develop these industries, Pulikovskiy made a
plea for U.S. cooperation with his agency in this area.

--------
Pakistan
--------

4. (U) In a remark tracking closely with USG perspectives,
Minister of Environment Malik Amin Aslam Khan expressed
displeasure over the trends in international deliberations at
the CSD, lamenting that too much time was wasted on lengthy
and meaningless negotiation of new policy text when the true
purpose of CSD should be to map implementation of previous

USUN NEW Y 00000415 002.2 OF 004


seminal development agreements like Agenda-21 and the World
Summit on Sustainable Development. Khan was particularly
impatient with unrealistic EU ambitions, such as winning
agreement on time-bound targets for the use of renewable
energies. In terms of Pakistan's national priorities, Khan
said climate change considerations were forcing a
re-examination of hydroelectric dams and nuclear energy,
despite international opposition to such ideas in the past.
He invited U.S. participation in forming an international
consortium to help Pakistan develop its nuclear and
hydroelectric ambitions.

-----
India
-----

5. (U) Secretary of Environment and Forestry Prodipto Ghosh
lauded bilateral cooperation within the APP framework, saying
that India was flexible on the dates of its hosting the APP
Ministerial later this year if Secretary Rice's schedule
could be accommodated to permit her attendance. He was
pleased with USG financing for Indian private sector projects
within the APP mechanism, and was optimistic about ongoing
negotiations with the EPA on a memorandum of understanding as
well as scientific collaboration on bio-energy. Ghosh was
highly complimentary of cooperation with USAID, and noted the
heavy private sector involvement in the APP's Cement Working
Group session held in Delhi in April. Looking forward to
many further partnerships under the APP Fund, Ghosh beamed
that the APP was finally "seeing real traction." OES DAS
Reifsnyder solicited Indian reaction to some USG proposals to
commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Protocol on
Substances that Deplete the Ozone with new initiatives.
Ghosh promised a response, and looked forward to further
enhancing the already vibrant bilateral cooperation on
environmental issues.

-----------
South Korea
-----------

6. (U) ROK Minister of Environment Chi-Beom Lee
enthusiastically praised bilateral cooperation within the APP
framework, and requested details on the APP Ministerial later
this year and other APP events. In reaction to Canada's
efforts to join an expanded APP, Lee was positive but noted
that a consensus of all APP members was necessary. He
quickly turned the discussion to his main focus: working
toward a multilateral climate change agreement for post-2012.
After U/S Dobriansky's lengthy intercession on the USG's
long-standing approach toward climate change, Lee
nevertheless insisted he detects a shift in the
Administration's stance. He said that any post-Kyoto
agreement must encourage full participation, saying that
developed economies must act if developing states are to be
coaxed into participation as well. He urged that there be no
gap between the Kyoto Protocol's commitment period and
whatever multilateral agreement follows it. Lee closed the
meeting, however, voicing shared concern with the U.S. over
EU proposals to place a carbon tax on international air
travel.

-----
Japan
-----

7. (U) Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs Toshiro
Kojima devoted his bilateral meeting almost entirely to
climate change concerns. He was complimentary of bilateral
cooperation on energy and climate, and noted Japan's concerns
over the EU agenda ahead of the June G-8 Summit in Germany,
about which Prime Minister Abe shared views recently with
President Bush. Kojima urged the U.S. to embrace Japan's
counter-proposal to the EU's declared target of reducing
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 20 percent by 2020 with
Tokyo's alternate of reducing GHG 50 percent by 2050. He

USUN NEW Y 00000415 003.2 OF 004


likened that voluntary commitment to President Kennedy's
proposal for putting a man on the Moon, saying such an
overarching vision is necessary to win funding for the
technological innovations that will be needed to reach the
target. Kojima also expressed skepticism over the EU's
over-reliance on a carbon market to address climate change.
Japan is studying the EU experience as well as efforts by
various U.S. states before designing a plan for possibly
adopting a carbon market in Japan. The Vice Minister also
expressed opposition to the EU's "unfair" idea of putting a
carbon tax on air travel.

---------------
The Netherlands
---------------

8. (U) After some conversation over the pace of CSD
negotiations on an outcome document, Dutch Minister of
Housing, Planning and Environment Jacqueline Cramer pressed
her views on the need for more coherent, collective
action--particularly by developed states--to win progress on
a new multilateral climate change agreement during the
December session in Bali of the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC). She was likewise concerned that
more concerted donor efforts were required to make progress
in achieving UN targets on poverty reduction. The Minister
cited strong domestic consumer support in the Netherlands for
establishing and policing environmental and sustainable
development standards for imported biofuels, preferably
through a multilateral mechanism. Cramer and her delegation
was surprised to find that there was no similar upwelling of
consumer concern in the U.S. despite hearing that biofuels in
the U.S. are overwhelmingly from domestic sources, in stark
contrast to her country. She predicted that European debate
over the sustainability of Indonesian and Brazilian biofuel
production would prompt further intergovernmental discussions.

-------
Finland
-------

9. (U) Trade and Development Minister Paavo Vayrynen devoted
much of his remarks to the EU's ambitious agenda at CSD for
getting time-bound targets for the use of renewable energy
into the outcome document, despite overwhelming opposition
from many developing states. Like the Korean Environment
Minister, Vayrynen insisted that he detected policy shifts on
climate change on the part of the USG, even if couched in
terms of "energy security." He likewise noted growing
concern over biofuels, in particular their impact on world
food prices. The Minister sought further detail on the USG's
recent announcement of its intention to host the Washington
International Renewable Energy Conference in March 2008,
expressing strong interest in participation for both the
Finnish government and private sector. Vayrynen closed by
remarking that the new government in Finland plans to "reach
out" to the U.S. even more than had the previous government.

-----------
New Zealand
-----------

10. (U) David Parker, Minister for Energy and Minister
Responsible for Climate Change, commented on the "sea change"
in New Zealanders' sentiments toward climate change of late,
overcoming earlier skepticism of the Kyoto Protocol following
the U.S. and Australia's decisions not to ratify it. New
scientific reports, natural disasters in the Pacific region,
and Australia's calamitous drought fed popular concern,
including among parliamentarians and the private sector. The
Minister said he detected a similar growing public interest
among Americans. Parker said that New Zealand has a wealth
of renewable energy sources that make resorting to nuclear
energy unnecessary, but he voiced support for carbon capture
and sequestration. He advocates better internalizing the
costs of carbon by market mechanisms, citing that as the most

USUN NEW Y 00000415 004.2 OF 004


efficient and affordable approach. Parker said the Clean
Development Mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol are a useful
tool but need considerable recrafting to avoid spending
precious funds to address problems that governments could
easily handle administratively. Both New Zealand and
Australia, he said, agree with USG concerns that incentives
need to be improved to halt deforestation. Asked about
possibly joining the U.S.-sponsored Coalition Against
Wildlife Trafficking, the Minister's delegation voiced
interest but said they would have to study further the
funding and personnel resources that joining CAWT might
entail.

--------------------------------------------- -------
OES DAS Reifsnyder Bilaterals with Moldova, Cameroon
--------------------------------------------- -------

11. (U) Also on the margins of the CSD-15 ministerial
segment, OES Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment Dan
Reifsnyder responded to bilateral meeting requests from
Moldova's Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources
Constantin Mihailescu and Cameroon Minister of Planning and
Development Augustin Kodock. Mihailescu was strongly
complimentary of bilateral cooperation with USAID, but voiced
need for further cooperation in specific agricultural areas:
weather monitoring and forecasting, non-traditional and
organic agriculture, and dealing with agricultural waste from
the country's renowned viticulture. Moldova plans to host a
regional conference in September 2008 to examine the factors
that contribute to weather variability with further hopes of
establishing a regional center for long-term forecasting.
DAS Reifsnyder noted that the issue of a world conference on
seasonal to interannual climate prediction would be taken up
in June by the World Meteorological Organization and urged
Moldovan support for this focus. He undertook to pass the
Moldovan request to relevant USG agencies and likewise urged
the Minister to work closely with Embassy Chisinau.

12. (U) Cameroon Planning Minister Kodock focused his remarks
on his country's need for external financing for the
construction of two additional hydroelectric dams. Kodock
noted that U.S. firm AES Sonel is currently operating a gas
turbine power plant while a British concern is nearing
completion of a hydroelectric facility. While a construction
firm has yet to be identified for the two new hydro plants,
the Minister said his main focus was on lining up financing.
He noted, however, that Cameroon intended to develop these
plants as private sector ventures as opposed to having them
be built and operated by the government. He acknowledged
there were some environmental concerns from certain quarters
over the hydro projects, but assured there were no
transboundary water issues at stake. If constructed, the two
additional hydro stations would add approximately 250MW to
Cameroon's production capacity and possibly permit limited
export of electricity to Equatorial Guinea or the Central
African Republic. Cameroon's own transmission network could
use upgrading, however, according to Kodock. (Note: Kodock
requested bilaterals of several European and Western
missions, apparently for the same purposes. End note.)
KHALILZAD

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