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Cablegate: Major Economies Meeting - Ambassador Gray Engages

VZCZCXYZ0006
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHFR #3909/01 2611422
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 181422Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0253
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY 2077

UNCLAS PARIS 003909

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT PASS G, OES, EUR; WHITE HOUSE FOR CEQ

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV FR
SUBJECT: MAJOR ECONOMIES MEETING - AMBASSADOR GRAY ENGAGES
FRENCH ON OBJECTIVES


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: ON SEPTEMBER 17, IN MEETINGS WITH
PRESIDENT SARKOZY'S PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE TO THE WASHINGTON
SEPTEMBER 27-28 MAJOR ECONOMIES MEETING (MEM), AND WITH THE
MFA'S DEPUTY MINISTER FOR ECONOMICS AND FINANCE, USEU
AMBASSADOR GRAY ADDRESSED FRENCH CONCERNS AND HIGHLIGHTED
U.S. MEM OBJECTIVES. FRENCH OFFICIALS ONCE AGAIN EMPHASIZED
THAT THERE NEEDS TO BE A DISTINCTION BETWEEN THE EU/EC AND
FRANCE AT THE MEETING. GRAY RESPONDED THAT TO BE ABLE TO
HAVE ANY 'REAL DIALOGUE' AT THE MEM, THE SMALLER THE NUMBER
OF PLAYERS THE BETTER. ON SUBSTANCE, FRENCH OFFICIALS SAID
THEY SUPPORT MEM, YET THEY ALSO CLAIMED THAT IT SHOULD
INCLUDE DISCUSSION OF 'TOP-DOWN' MEASURES SUCH AS
CAP-AND-TRADE SYSTEMS FOR GREENHOUSE GASES. GRAY HIGHLIGHTED
RECENT REPORTS THAT CAP-AND-TRADE SYSTEMS ARE BETTER AT
PROMOTING UPTAKE OF EXISTING TECHNOLOGIES AND NOT AS GOOD AT
FOSTERING THE INNOVATION TO ACHIEVE BREAKTHROUGH
TECHNOLOGIES. END SUMMARY.

2. (U) AMBASSADOR BOYDEN GRAY ENGAGED SECRETARY OF STATE FOR
ECOLOGY AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT NATALIE KOSCIUSKO-MORIZET
("NKM"), PRESIDENT SARKOZY'S PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE TO THE
MAJOR ECONOMIES MEETING (MEM), AND CHRISTIAN MASSET, DEPUTY
FOREIGN MINISTER FOR ECONOMICS AND FINANCE, IN SEPARATE
MEETINGS ON SEPTEMBER 17 ABOUT U.S. OBJECTIVES FOR THE MEM.
USEU AND EMBASSY PARIS ESTH OFFICERS ACCOMPANIED HIM.
COUNSELOR JEAN MICHEL LINOIS AND FRANCE'S AMBASSADOR FOR THE
ENVIRONMENT LAUREN STEFANINI PARTICIPATED IN GRAY'S MEETINGS
WITH NKM AND MASSET, RESPECTIVELY. AMBASSADOR GRAY ALSO
DISCUSSED THE MEM WITH FRENCH PRESS IN ROUNDTABLE FORMAT.

FRANCE WANTS TO BE FRANCE IN WASHINGTON....
-------------------------------------------

3. (SBU) BOTH NKM AND MASSET SPOKE HIGHLY OF THE PRESIDENT'S
MEM INITIATIVE AND THAT IT NEEDS TO BE AMBITIOUS, "AT THE
LEVEL OF THE (CLIMATE) CHALLENGE." BOTH SAID FRANCE LOOKS
FORWARD TO ATTENDING AND THEY HOPED FOR ITS SUCCESS.
HOWEVER, BOTH REMARKED THAT FRANCE WOULD ATTEND THE MEM AS AN
ENTITY DISTINCT FROM THE EU OR THE EC; FRANCE IS AN IMPORTANT
ACTOR IN ITS OWN RIGHT AND NEEDED ITS OWN VOICE AT THE TABLE.
"WE ARE VERY SENSITIVE TO THIS POINT," SAID NKM, AND ADDED
THAT FRANCE'S AMBASSADOR TO WASHINGTON VIMONT HAD RAISED THIS
WITH THE DEPARTMENT. NKM EVEN CLAIMED, "FROM OUR
PERSPECTIVE, THE MEM IS A G8-BASED PROCESS...." GRAY
RESPONDED TO BOTH RELAYING THE HISTORICAL EXAMPLE OF HOW
PROGRESS WAS MADE TO REACH THE MONTREAL PROTOCOL: A DOZEN KEY
NATIONS UNDERTOOK TO WORK TOGETHER TO DEVELOP A COHERENT
FRAMEWORK FOR ADDRESSING OZONE MULTILATERALLY. HAD THIS
PROBLEM BEEN TACKLED IN UNENDING PLENARY SESSIONS WITH
160-ODD DELEGATES PRESENTING SET SPEECHES, CONSENSUS WOULD
HAVE BEEN LONG IN COMING. GRAY EMPHASIZED THE MEM'S PURPOSE
IS TO GET THE KEY EMITTERS TO THE TABLE TO ENGAGE IN FRANK
DISCUSSIONS. AS THINGS STAND, GRAY SAID, EUROPE WITH 16% OF
WORLD GHG EMISSIONS WILL HAVE 30% OF THE SEATS AT THE TABLE.

TOP-DOWN OR BOTTOM-UP
---------------------

4. (SBU) NKM ALSO WANTED CONFIRMATION THAT THE MEM WOULD
SUPPORT THE EXISTING UN CLIMATE PROCESS AND THAT IT WOULD
"BUILD ON KYOTO AND CONVERGE SYSTEMS." SIMILARLY, MASSET
SAID THE MEM "SHOULD NOT BE ALL ABOUT PUBLIC PARTNERSHIPS;
THAT THERE WAS A NEED FOR BOTH 'TOP-DOWN' AND 'BOTTOM-UP'
APPROACHES." THE TOP-DOWN OR CAP-AND-TRADE SYSTEM ACCORDING
TO MASSET WOULD SEND NECESSARY PRICE SIGNALS TO THE MARKET,
ESSENTIAL TO PROMOTING EFFICIENCIES AND DEVELOPING NEW
TECHNOLOGIES TO CONTROL EMISSIONS. GRAY RESPONDED
UNEQUIVOCALLY THAT THE UPCOMING MEETINGS PURPOSE WOULD BE TO
ADVANCE THE UN PROCESS. REGARDING TOP-DOWN MEASURES, GRAY
DESCRIBED TO NKM AND MASSET WHAT THE U.S. SAW AS THE KEY
THINGS THAT NEEDED TO BE ACCOMPLISHED AT THE COMING MEETING,
INCLUDING ENHANCING COLLABORATION ON CARBON CAPTURE AND
STORAGE AND SECOND GENERATION BIOFUELS, AS WELL AS ENHANCING
THE METRICS/MEASUREMENTS SURROUNDING REFORESTATION. NKM SAID
THAT FRANCE WOULD WELCOME DISCUSSION OF ALL THREE. GRAY,
REFERRING TO A RECENTLY PRODUCED CLUB OF MADRID/UNFOUNDATION
DOCUMENT, UNDERSCORED THAT CAP-AND-TRADE SYSTEMS FOR CARBON
EMISSIONS WERE PREMATURE. IMPLEMENTATION OF A CAP-AND-TRADE
SYSTEM WOULD FORCE ACTORS TO UTILIZE LEAST COST AVAILABLE
TECHNOLOGIES RATHER THAN TO INNOVATE FOR BREAKTHROUGH
TECHNOLOGIES. GRAY EMPHASIZED THAT ADDITIONAL WORK WAS
REQUIRED TO BRING NEW CLIMATE-FRIENDLY TECHNOLOGIES TO MARKET
BEFORE IMPLEMENTATION OF CAP-AND-TRADE SYSTEMS TO ADDRESS
CARBON EMISSIONS.

PROCEEDINGS RECORD
------------------


5. (SBU) NKM'S FINAL MAIN POINT: THERE NEEDS TO BE A RECORD
OF THE MEM DISCUSSIONS AND CLARITY REGARDING NEXT STEPS.
AMBASSADOR GRAY REASSURED HER THAT THERE WOULD BE NO
DECLARATION WHICH WOULD HAVE TO BE NEGOTIATED, BUT THERE
WOULD BE A DOCUMENT REFLECTING THE NATURE OF THE DISCUSSIONS
AND A TIMETABLE FOR FUTURE MEETINGS.


PLEASE VISIT PARIS' CLASSIFIED WEBSITE AT:
HTTP://WWW.STATE.SGOV.GOV/P/EUR/PARIS/INDEX.C FM


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