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Cablegate: New Zealand: Under Secretary Dobriansky's January

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DE RUEHWL #0035/01 0380353
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 070353Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5047
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0391
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0066
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 5092
RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 0023
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0061
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 0189
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0186
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0159
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0692
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHDC
RHMFISS/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC

C O N F I D E N T I A L WELLINGTON 000035

SIPDIS

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DOE FOR A/S KARSNER
NSC FOR K. FRASER
BRUSSELS FOR USEU

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/17/2028
TAGS: OVIP PREL PGOV SENV NZ AY AF BM FJ UK IN MY
SUBJECT: NEW ZEALAND: UNDER SECRETARY DOBRIANSKY'S JANUARY
15 MEETING WITH PRIME MINISTER CLARK

Classified By: Consul General John Desrocher for reasons 1.5 (b)
and (d).

This message was drafted by ConGen Auckland and approved by
Embassy Wellington.

1. (C) Summary. New Zealand PM Clark believes the
indifference of most Japanese to whaling leaves the most
extreme whaling advocates free to drive GOJ policy. Clark
opposes Antarctic tourism and she is pleased with her
government's efforts to get developing economies to accept
some responsibility for reducing greenhouse gases. Clark
also told Under Secretary Dobriansky she is disturbed by
Burma's neighbors' attitudes towards that government's
repression, as well as by European unwillingness to put
strong conditions on its aid to Fiji. Clark reported that
the U.K. believes a dual-track approach is necessary to
succeed in Afghanistan. Clark and Dobriansky discussed their
efforts to promote interfaith dialogue as well as the
Secretary's possible visit to New Zealand. End summary.

SIPDIS

-----------------
Antarctic Tourism
-----------------

2. (C) Prime Minister Clark opened her meeting with Under
Secretary Dobriansky by describing her concern about tourism

SIPDIS
at the bottom of the world. Clark said that she "had always
been down on tourism" in the Antarctic and adjacent waters,
citing its harm to the area's fragile environment and the
danger to tourists from the challenging climate and sea
conditions. Clark noted that tourism numbers were up,
particularly in the areas claimed by Chile and Argentina.
Dobriansky emphasized the U.S. desire to work with New
Zealand on the problem, and suggested the appropriate
commission should consider the imposition of binding rules
governing tourism.

-------
Whaling
-------

3. (C) Clark called attention to the controversy over
Japanese whaling and expressed appreciation for the "staunch"
attitude of the U.S. Clark noted that, this season, Japanese
whalers were far from New Zealand in Australia's Antarctic
waters, a vast area very difficult to patrol. Clark argued
that Japan will relent on whaling only when the attitude of
the Japanese public changes. Most Japanese are indifferent
to whaling, she said, leaving the most adamant proponents
free to drive GOJ policy.

4. (C) Dobriansky replied that she has met with New
Zealand's International Whaling Commission representative Sir
Geoffrey Palmer to consider next steps. The big challenge,
Dobriansky explained, was "salvaging the Commission" and
dealing more effectively with Japan. With regards to the
latter, Dobriansky noted she would sit down with USG's Japan
experts to plot out a strategy to be shared with partners
like NZ, Australia and the U.K. Regarding the IWC, Clark
noted that she has found Malaysia traditionally difficult
but, in recent conversations, Malaysian Prime Minister Badawi
has sounded more cooperative.

--------------
Climate Change
--------------

5. (C) Dobriansky expressed satisfaction with the outcome of
the Bali Climate Change Conference, particularly the
commitment of developing countries to contribute to efforts
to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG). She promised that the U.S.
would remain active in climate change negotiations as well as
in its own major emerging economies program. Clark
highlighted her own efforts to "get good statements" on
climate change from major international meetings in the run
up to Bali, such as Asian regional meetings (APEC, ASEAN) and
Commonwealth meetings, in order to draw developing countries
like India towards GHG commitments. Clark and Dobriansky
agreed that a key argument to make to developing countries
like India is that efforts to reduce GHG offer poor countries
an opportunity to make technological leaps over the dirty
technology that fueled much of the developed world's economic
growth.

6. (C) Energy A/S Karsner described U.S. efforts to tackle
climate change, citing a USD one billion investment this year
to produce cellulose ethanol and reduce tailpipe emissions
from cars by up to 87%. The U.S. was working with smaller
developed countries like Sweden and Iceland on GHG reduction
programs that, if successful, could be scaled up and
implemented in large economies like the U.S. Karsner shared
his desire to "green" our stations in Antarctica, both to
protect the environment and to reduce costs. He noted that
it costs more to deliver fossil fuels to the Antarctic
stations than to anywhere else on earth and that the U.S.
wants to work with NZ and others to meet the stations' energy
needs more efficiently. Similarly, the U.S. was interested
in working with NZ in the Pacific on community-scale
integrated reduction programs that would help reduce
emissions in very small economies, like the Pacific islands.

--------------------------------
Emissions Efforts in New Zealand
--------------------------------

7. (C) Dobriansky praised Clark's initiative to ensure that
90% of New Zealand's energy needs are met by renewable
sources. Clark noted that New Zealand already gets
two-thirds of its energy from such sources and can make up
the rest with more wind, geothermal and hydro power. Banning
new fossil fuel-powered energy generation projects will force
the country to find alternatives, Clark explained.

8. (C) New Zealand faced particular pressure to be green,
Clark continued. "We must put substance into the green
slogan," Clark said, if NZ is to push back successfully
against misguided popular concerns about food miles and
tourists' carbon footprints. Clark added that agriculture
and tourism form the basis of NZ's economy and must be, and
must be perceived to be, environmentally-friendly.

9. (C) On the Secretary's behalf, Dobriansky invited Clark
to the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference
(WIREC) in March. Dobriansky and Karsner pointed out the
strong interest in the conference from German Chancellor
Merkel and the Swedish premier.

-----------------
Secretary's Visit

SIPDIS
-----------------

10. (C) Clark expressed appreciation for Dobriansky's
visit, noting that she was the most senior administration
official to visit New Zealand in quite some time. Clark said
that she was looking forward to a possible visit from the
Secretary, but understood the need to avoid discussing the

SIPDIS
visit publicly until it was officially agreed and the details
were settled. Dobriansky promised to pass in Clark's
interest to the Secretary and the Charge noted that the
Embassy and Department were working with MFAT on a possible
program.

-----
Burma
-----

11. (C) Dobriansky thanked Clark for her personal
involvement on Burma, prompting Clark to recall her role as
the "bad fairy" at a recent ASEAN lunch at which she, to the
consternation of Burma's neighbors and while seated directly
across from her Burmese counterpart, condemned the junta's

human rights violations. China, India and ASEAN "need to
stand up," Clark continued, explaining that she had recently
told the Chinese premier that it was time for the PRC to take
a strong stand on Burma just as it had done on North Korea.
Clark added that she also raised the issue with her Indian
counterpart and described the Indian attitude as
"reprehensible."

----
Fiji
----

12. (C) Clark complained that, while the U.S. has been very
supportive of NZ's position on Fiji, the Europeans are "not
helpful." She cited European attitudes at the time of the
Pacific Islands Forum (PIF). PIF members were ready to
recommend that a non-military interim leader be appointed,
but the EU declined to condition its aid on that step and the
idea faded. Now, Clark added, New Zealand is "brainstorming
to find a path around Bainimarama," who can be rigid. "There
are others in Fiji to engage," Clark said.

-----------
Afghanistan
-----------

13. (C) Clark reported that, during her just-completed visit
to London, PM Brown pushed for a dual-track approach to
Afghanistan and expressed regret over the Afghan Government's
recent expulsion of two European diplomats accused of having
talks with Taleban leaders. Her U.K. interlocutors, she
said, "were surprised by how many Taleban leaders want to
talk."

-------------------
Interfaith Dialogue
-------------------

14. (C) After Dobriansky reiterated the President's
commitment to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian dispute by the
end of his administration, Clark recalled her own efforts to
promote interfaith dialogue. Dean Pittman referenced the
State Department's initiative in that regard, cautioning that
such efforts by governments "need to be subtle." It is a
particular challenge for the U.S., Pittman added, because any
such initiative from Washington tend to be viewed with
suspicion by the intended audience. Dobriansky explained
that reaching out to Muslim youth was particularly important.
Clark agreed, noting with regret the success that extremists
have had using the Internet to recruit young people.

------------
Participants
------------

15. (SBU)

New Zealand:
Prime Minister Helen Clark
Deputy Secretary Carolyn Forsyth, Ministry of Foreign Affairs
and Trade (MFAT)
Andrea Smith, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Justin Fepulea'i, MFAT

U.S.:
U/S Paula Dobriansky
A/S Andrew Karsner, DOE
David Keegan, Charge d'Affaires
Dean Pittman, Policy Planning
John Desrocher, Consul General (notetaker)
MCCORMICK

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