Search

 

Cablegate: Assistant Secretary Sullivan's Meeting With

VZCZCXRO9315
RR RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHHM RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD
RUEHROV
DE RUEHRL #1552/01 2260539
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 140539Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY BERLIN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9011
INFO RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RHEBAAA/DOE WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEAEPA/EPA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BERLIN 001552

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EEB, EEB/ESC, G, OES, OES/EGC, EUR, EUR/RPE,
EUR/WE, KGHG, USAID
WHITE HOUSE FOR CEQ
EPA FOR INTERNATIONAL

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED; NOT FOR INTERNET
DISTRIBUTION.

E.O. 12356: N/A
TAGS: SENV ENRG KCHG PREL GM
SUBJECT: ASSISTANT SECRETARY SULLIVAN'S MEETING WITH
GERMAN OFFICIALS ON THE PRESIDENT'S MAJOR ECONOMIES
CONFERENCE

REF: (A) Berlin 3392, (B) Berlin 1396 (C) Berlin 1284

ENTIRE TEXT IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. NOT FOR
INTERNET DISTRIBUTION

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. On August 10, EEB Assistant
Secretary Dan Sullivan met with officials from the

SIPDIS
German Chancellery, Ministry of Economics and
Technology and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss
the President's September 27-28 Major Economies
Conference. Sullivan also conducted a widely attended
press roundtable where much of the focus was on how
and whether the Major Economies Conference would fit
within the UNFCCC and whether the U.S. would agree to
binding caps on CO2 emissions. German officials were
generally supportive of the initiative, and argued
that the goal is to have a framework compatible with
the UNFCCC process. They were also receptive to the
point that this builds upon the initiative agreed upon
at the G-8 Summit in Heiligendamm. END SUMMARY.

FEDERAL CHANCELLERY
- - - - - - - - - -
2. (SBU) Dr. Peter Roesgen, Director of
Infrastructure Planning at the Federal Chancellery,
said that Germany sees the starting point in any
global initiative on climate change involving G-8
countries to be the principles agreed upon in
Heiligendamm. Roesgen emphasized that it is important
to have a truly global process that includes not just
major emitters, but also countries likely to be most
affected by climate change. A/S Sullivan responded
that the President's broad climate initiative
announced before the G-8 Summit not only focused on
major economies, but also on an expanded focus on
issues such as adaptation and deforestation that
affect many smaller countries. What was agreed upon
in Heiligendamm, Roesgen said, was the need for broad
ownership by all affected countries. Roesgen said
that no one process can solve such a global challenge,
but that all initiatives must be complementary.
Roesgen was reassured by A/S Sullivan's emphasis that
the President's initiative will contribute to a global
agreement within the UNFCCC process.

3. (SBU) Roesgen was impressed by the sample U.S.
matrix provided by A/S Sullivan, but cautioned that
government funding is not the only issue to focus on;
market based initiatives such as an Emissions Trading
System (ETS) are also important. Sullivan explained
the purpose of this matrix and the first meeting was
to find out what other countries are doing on climate
change and to agree on standards of measurement and
terminology that will inform the broader UN process.

4. (SBU) Bodo Linscheidt, of the Chancellery's
Environment Section, stated that Germany was pleased
with any framework, including the U.S. proposal, which
includes major emitting countries. He said that there
appears to be more convergence between U.S. and
European views on combating climate change than in the
past. In discussions over the G-8 + 5 meeting on
climate change tentatively scheduled for October 16,
Linscheidt proposed that it might be useful to
sequential conferences following the President's
September meeting, hosted by other countries such as
Japan and China focused on different aspects of
climate change, all leading to an agreement in 2009
that would provide for a post-2012 framework.
Sullivan responded that too many different initiatives
could be counterproductive, and that the September
Conference of Major Economies was not intended to be a
"one off" event but the beginning of an intensive
process focusing on a specific goal by the end of

BERLIN 00001552 002 OF 003


2008.

MINISTRY OF ECONOMICS AND TECHNOLOGY
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
5. (SBU) At the Economics Ministry, Sullivan met with
State Secretary Joachim Wuermerling, who expressed
interest in how the major economies conference would
feed into the UNFCCC's Conference in Bali.
Wuermerling reiterated that any new approach must
complement the UNFCCC to gain German support.
Sullivan replied that this meeting is the beginning of
a process that will continue beyond Bali, but would
obviously feed into the larger UNFCCC process. The
first step will be to study national policies and
programs to look for complementary programs and gaps.

6. (SBU) Wuermerling welcomed the U.S.' bottom-up
approach to this subject, commenting that Germany is
currently going through a similar exercise as it
drafts a national energy strategy. The Economics
Ministry is especially focused on market-driven
mechanisms to combat climate change, rather than via
regulation. In this context, he said that encouraging
energy efficiency without distorting markets and
competition was especially challenging.

7. (SBU) Uwe Schroeder-Selbach, the Ministry's Advisor
on Sustainable Energy, asked whether this initiative
would go beyond that agreed at Heiligendamm. Sullivan
replied that this conference is a direct follow
through to our commitments at the G-8 Summit to work
to bring major emitting countries into a global
framework to combat climate change. Sullivan added
the goal of the process is to go beyond Heiligendamm
and to actually get a framework agreement among the
major economies and long-term global greenhouse gas
reduction goal by the end of 2008.

FOREIGN OFFICE
- - - - - - -
8. (SBU) Viktor Elbling, Head of the Foreign Office's
International Economic Policy Division, welcomed the
U.S. initiative, stating that it was an excellent time
to follow up on the "most important" initiative agreed
upon at the G-8 Summit. He agreed with the U.S.
approach, commenting that "everyone knows we must talk
to emerging economies" about climate change. Elbling
commented on the number of climate change meetings
planned in the next four months, noting that it will
be important to clarify how the President's Major
Economies Conference fits into these other
initiatives. Sullivan agreed, emphasizing the U.S.
initiative would strive to provide baseline
information that could inform other processes.
Elbling opined that this would be a valuable tool but
cautioned that this should be done as factually as
possible, to avoid discrepancies in measurements
across economies. At the end of the entire process,
Elbling said it was important to have a balanced
result - one that is flexible but also concrete in its
goals and approach. Germany understands these
challenges as it is currently working to implement the
targets agreed upon at the European Council Summit in
March with concrete initiatives to reach these goals.
Elbling stated that Germany was supportive of the
conference and would definitely participate at a high
level, commenting that the Foreign Office is very
active on climate change issues within the government.

PRESS
- - -
9. (SBU) There is high interest in the U.S. position
on climate change policy at all levels of German
society, as evinced by the large turnout of

BERLIN 00001552 003 OF 003


journalists at the A/S Secretary's press roundtable.
Sixteen members of the German and international press
came on short notice to hear about the President's
Major Emitters Conference and discuss climate change
issues. The majority of questions focused on how and
whether the Major Economies Conference would fit
within the UNFCCC and whether the U.S. will agree to
global caps on CO2.

COMMENT
- - - -
10. (SBU) German officials who met A/S Sullivan
received the U.S. initiative positively, although
some, particularly in the Chancellor's office, were
initially skeptical about the USG desire to work
within the UNFCCC process. This skepticism could be
due in part to the German government's belief that
climate change is "their" issue, and also a failure to
recognize that Heiligendamm marked a serious
commitment on the part of the USG to tackle climate
change at the global level. In any case, German
officials appear ready to work with us to engage
developed and emerging economies on this issue to
develop a post 2012 climate change strategy. END
COMMENT

11. This cable was cleared with A/S Sullivan.

KOENIG

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

COP24: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>

ALSO:

New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>

ALSO:

Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

ALSO:

MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

ALSO: