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Cablegate: Embassy Paris

VZCZCXRO3947
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV
DE RUEHFR #1315 1921646
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101646Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY PARIS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3707
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES

UNCLAS PARIS 001315

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

WHITE HOUSE FOR NEC, CEQ and USTR

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG SENV EAGR EU FR
SUBJ: EMISSIONS CONSENSUS WITH A GMO KICKER CLAIMED FOR EU
ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT MEETING

1. (SBU) French Minister of State Jean Louis Borloo hosted
back-to-back informal meetings of EU Energy and Environment
Ministers July 3-5 to begin implementation of Council decisions on
carbon emissions reduction. Pascal Shuster (protect), who runs this
portfolio in the Ministry of Ecology, Energy, Sustainable
Development and Planning (MEEDDAT), told us that the results
exceeded the GOF's expectations. The meetings considered three
draft directives prepared by the Commission in January (Improving
the EU Emissions Trading System, Promoting Renewables, Carbon
Capture and Storage) and a draft decision allocating non-ETS covered
emissions quotas. They reportedly agreed in principle on the
allocation of burden sharing (at both 20 percent and 30 percent
overall 2020 reduction goals) in the sectors covered by the
Emissions Trading System and in sectors outside of the ETS, as well
as burden sharing to reach the renewable target and burden sharing
in CCS goals. Member states also agreed on the rate of renewable
targeted in transportation and agreed that aviation emissions would
be covered by the ETS with a rising proportion of carbon credits
from aviation to be auctioned rather than allocated. Regarding the
ETS, Shuster reported agreement on auctioning all carbon permits for
the power generation sector, with other sectors to be subjected to a
combination of auctioned and allocated credits with the proportion
of auctioned credits rising over time Member states also reportedly
agreed to a division among Member States of 90 percent auction
proceeds in proportion to 2005 ETS emissions levels while the
remaining 10 percent would constitute a solidarity fund for
redistribution from richer to poorer member states.

2. (SBU) In addition to a general agreement on the directives and
decision, Shuster said that the Ministers also reached some level of
agreement on the principle of a "Carbon Inclusion Mechanism."
Under the CIM, imports of products in specified sectors from
producer countries that are not party to a post-Kyoto arrangement
(presumably to be reached at the 2009 Copenhagen Conference) would
require a European carbon permit. At the same time, European
producers in the specified sectors would receive a quota of free or
discounted carbon credits (presumably to "level the playing field by
either facilitating European exports or allowing them to capture the
carbon value of competing imports.)

3. (U) According to press reports, an additional outcome of the
environment ministers meeting was agreement in principle on French
proposals to address the EU mechanism for evaluation of genetically
modified organisms. State Secretary for Environment Nathalie
Kosciusko-Morizet proposed that the current procedures to evaluate
imports and cultivation of GMO's should be modified to incorporate
not just scientific analysis but also an evaluation by civil
society. In addition, she proposed that the subsidiarity principle
be applied to allow regions to opt out of permitting cultivation of
approved GM varieties.

4. (SBU) Comment: The above represents one insider account of the
outcomes of last week's meetings and we will continue to follow up.
It seems clear, however that the French got further than they
expected on this key priority of the Presidency. The
super-Ministry, created by Sarkozy after his election last year
spent much of its first six months on the "Grenelle de
l'Environment", France's domestic national debate on sustainable
development. The Ministry spent the last six months on internal
reform fusing its diverse divisions and responsibilities into a
coherent organization. Ministry staff is now consolidated in new
highrise offices and a large and powerful Minister's cabinet is
under one historic roof downtown. The temperamental, unpredictable
but charismatic Jean-Louis Borloo remains popular and is reportedly
the only cabinet member whose European Presidency agenda and
portfolio connects for average French citoyen.

Stapleton

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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