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Cablegate: Natural Resources and Environment Vice-Minister Interested

VZCZCXRO5799
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHCHI RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHDT RUEHFK RUEHFL RUEHHM
RUEHIK RUEHKSO RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHNAG RUEHNH
RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHHI #0108/01 0310826
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 310826Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7074
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 4206
RUEHZU/ASIAN PACIFIC ECONOMIC COOPERATION
RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0178
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 000108

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, EAP/EP, OES/EGC, OES/STC
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE, G/ENV
STATE PASS TO EPA/OIA (DENNIS CUNNINGHAM AND MARK KASMAN)
STATE PASS TO NOAA/NOS/OIA (JONATHAN JUSTI)
BANGKOK PASS TO RDMA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ENRG ECON KGHG VM
SUBJECT: NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT VICE-MINISTER INTERESTED
IN CLEAN TECHNOLOGY FUND

Ref: A. 08 State 7475 B. 08 State 1110 C. 07 Hanoi 2053

HANOI 00000108 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary: Ambassador Michalak met with Vietnamese Senior
Vice-Minister of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) Nguyen
Cong Thanh to highlight U.S. efforts to combat climate change.
Thanh, who oversees MONRE's climate change portfolio, stated that
MONRE has begun to craft a National Action Plan for adapting to
climate change. Ambassador Michalak highlighted that the United
States had joined the Bali consensus and stressed recent U.S.
actions to reduce our carbon footprint. Thanh expressed particular
interest in the proposed Clean Technology Fund. End Summary.

Ambassador Michalak Highlights U.S. Contributions
--------------------------------------------- ----

2. (SBU) On January 30, relying on recent State Department guidance
(refs A and B), Ambassador Michalak told Senior Vice-Minister of
Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE) Nguyen Cong Thanh that the
United States was pleased to join the global consensus in support of
the Bali Roadmap, which included commitments by all participants to
consider measurable, reportable and verifiable actions to mitigate
climate change. Indeed, the United States had already enacted a new
energy law which would reduce carbon dioxide emissions through
energy conservation, mandatory increased fuel efficiency standards,
and greater use of biofuels. Ambassador Michalak described the
U.S. proposal for an international fund to finance clean technology
investments, which would have particular relevance for Vietnam.

Some Praise for U.S. Efforts
----------------------------

3. (SBU) MONRE Senior Vice-Minister Nguyen Cong Thanh, who led the
Vietnamese delegation to Bali and spearheads GVN climate change
efforts, praised "creative" U.S. measures which paved the way for
future global discussions. He agreed that all nations must play a
role in responding to climate change. At the same time, as one of
the nations likely to face the most severe consequences from climate
change, Vietnam had hoped to see more international progress by now.


Vietnamese Response to Climate Change
-------------------------------------

4. (SBU) Thanh confirmed that the GVN had assigned MONRE to take the
lead in developing a national action plan on adaptation to climate
change, a first draft of which is due in the second quarter of 2008.
The plan will focus on the Mekong and Red River deltas, which may
suffer from drought, floods, and increased salinity. In addition to
adaptation measures, the plan will include emissions cuts, even
though Vietnam is not required to do so under the
currently-operative Kyoto Protocol. Vietnam is looking for measures
that would improve economic efficiency, while contributing to the
collective effort to fight global warming, and is quite interested
in energy efficient technologies and cleaner production methods and
equipment. Thanh focused particularly on the clean technology fund
proposed by the United States and requested more information about
how Vietnam might take advantage of this source of financial
support.

U.S. Assistance
---------------

5. (SBU) Noting the concern expressed by MONRE Minister Pham
regarding the perceived lack of U.S. assistance to Vietnam (Ref C),
Ambassador Michalak stated that the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency had agreed to review and comment on the draft Vietnamese
national action plan. Additionally, U.S. programs promoting cleaner
coal technologies and compact florescent light bulb standards would
benefit Vietnamese climate change efforts. As the GVN further
developed its climate change policies, we would look for other
possible ways to assist, particularly in the area of
hydro-meteorology. Thanh, who has traveled to the United States on
three occasions for hydro-meteorological training and discussions,
agreed that this should be a focus. Thanh also concurred with the
Ambassador's suggestion that MONRE should join the Vietnamese
delegation to the upcoming Science and Technology Joint Committee

HANOI 00000108 002.2 OF 002


Meeting in Washington, which would provide the opportunity for in
depth discussions with U.S. counterparts on climate change
adaptation techniques.

MICHALAK

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