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Cablegate: Uk Supports U.S. Goals of Expanded Iea Membership;

VZCZCXYZ0003
OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHLO #0745 0721700
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 121700Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 7770
INFO RUCNIEA/IEA CAPITALS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY

UNCLAS LONDON 000745

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG IEA UK
SUBJECT: UK SUPPORTS U.S. GOALS OF EXPANDED IEA MEMBERSHIP;
URGES TRANSPARENT PROCESS

REF: STATE 14271

1. (SBU) The UK's Minister of Energy Willie Ricketts will
attend the March 13-14 IEA Governing Board meeting in Paris
and support the U.S. goal to begin a process of evaluating
how to work best with China and India on IEA issues,
according to Tom Reilly, Director of the Climate and Energy
Office, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Allison Zhu,
Department for Business and Regulatory Reform. The UK and
U.S. positions are not far apart, said Reilly, who believes
the IEA needs to begin a dialogue with China and India, as
all trends show their roles as energy consumers will greatly
increase. However, the UK is concerned about opening the IEA
to charges of non-transparency (from Brazil, Indonesia,
Mexico, among others) if a process is created that is skewed
only towards China and India. The UK also does not want a
process that allows China, particularly, to avoid the hard
choices of market liberalization which would otherwise be
required in a first step of qualifying for OECD membership.

2. (SBU) Reilly and Zhu support the idea of creating a
working group to study possibilities of further engaging
China and India. Focus should first be on outreach to India
and China; the UK believes no country would oppose the IEA
trying to engage in closer contact with those countries on
energy stocks. A second approach would entail looking at
ways to expand the IEA's membership. This will be a more
difficult process that could require parliamentary changes,
and could raise questions about eventual Russian
participation in the IEA (particularly because Russia is much
closer to OECD membership than the other two.) In the UK's
eyes, according to Zhu, questions for a working group would
include: defining the IEA's aim in getting China and India to
work more closely with us; determining whether there are
options other than IEA membership, such as through a separate
association - perhaps similar to Norway's association with
the EU; and seeing whether IEA membership can be de-coupled
from other OECD requirements.

Visit London's Classified Website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/london/index. cfm
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