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Cablegate: Progress in Asia Pacific Partnership Transport Sector

VZCZCXRO4584
RR RUEHAST RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHNH RUEHPB RUEHPOD
RUEHTM
DE RUEHKO #2724/01 2740630
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 300630Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7592
INFO RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHINGTON DC
RUEAEPA/HQ EPA WASHDC
RUCPDC/NOAA NOS WASHDC
RHEBAAA/USDOE WASHDC
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHDC
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0117
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 8205
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 2474
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3859
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0692

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 002724

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/J AND OES/EGC FOR HARLAN WATSON
WHITE HOUSE FOR CEQ - JAMES CONNAUGHTON, LANDON VAN DYKE
NSC FOR JONATHAN SHRIER
USDOC FOR NOAA CLIMATE CHANGE OFFICE - SID THURSTON
DOT FOR LINDA LAWSON AND CAMILLE MITTELHOLTZ
FAA FOR CARL BURLESON
EPA FOR CHRIS GRUNDLER
USDOE FOR S-3
PASS TO USAID

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELTN SENV EWWT PREL JA
SUBJECT: Progress in Asia Pacific Partnership Transport Sector
Workshop in Japan, Discussion of Possible Follow-on Task Force

TOKYO 00002724 001.2 OF 002


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED - PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY

1. (SBU) Summary: Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and
Climate (APP) members explored areas for cooperation in conserving
energy and reducing CO2 emissions in road transport during the first
APP Road Transport Sector Workshop in Tokyo September 18-19.
Following detailed presentations on domestic efforts to conserve
energy and reduce emissions by participants, all delegations
expressed a desire to follow up on areas of cooperation discussed in
the workshop. The Japanese plan to provide a readout of the
workshop to the Policy and Implementation Committee (PIC) meeting in
Vancouver October 29-30, with the aim of supplying additional
information on what a potential Road Transport Task Force might
entail. The PIC may decide at the Vancouver meeting to go forward
with this new Task Force, or could defer a decision until a future
meeting. End Summary.

2. (U) Japan hosted the first APP Road Transport Sector Workshop in
Tokyo September 18-19 as an initial step toward establishing a Road
Transport Sector Task Force. Delegations from Australia, Canada,
China, India, Japan, Korea, and the U.S. attended. At the APP
Policy Implementation Committee (PIC) meeting May 20, 2008 in
Seattle, Japan proposed forming the Road Transport Task Force to
enhance sustainable transportation systems by conserving energy and
reducing CO2 emissions in the transport sector. The PIC recommended
holding the workshop to determine the best path for a possible new
task force and to identify potential areas of collaboration between
members.

3. (U) The meeting began with participants' presentations on
domestic efforts to conserve energy and reduce CO2 emissions in road
transport. For the U.S., DOT's Director of the Office of Safety
Energy and Environment Linda Lawson gave a well-received
presentation on U.S domestic policies to address energy and climate
in road transport. Deputy Director of the EPA's Office of
Transportation and Air Quality Hans Christopher Grundler also
explained the EPA's SmartWay public/private transportation
partnership. A representative from the Society of Indian Automotive
Engineers gave a presentation on industry initiatives to develop new
vehicles and alternative fuels. Korean delegates discussed the
results of bus system reform in Seoul. Australian delegates gave a
presentation on their country's current policies to increase
purchases of low-emission vehicles through enhanced market
information. Canadaian delegates outlined GOC policy initiatives
for infrastructure improvement, consumer information, fuel
efficiency standards and biofuel research. The Chinese Association
of Automobile Manufacturers participated in the workshop, but did
not give a presentation.

4. (U) Japan gave several presentations on improving traffic flow,
developing an integrated transport system, and encouraging more
economical driving and routing for commercial vehicles. Officials
from Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
(MLIT) identified three barriers to effective development of
national strategies to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions in the
transport sector. They recommended the following activities to
address these shortcomings and encourage international
collaboration:

-- Develop reliable national statistics on road transport;

-- Develop a comprehensive list of best practices, supported by
analysis of their applicability and effectiveness, and;

-- Develop a globally-shared analytical model to optimize political
decisions in countries with different circumstances in their
transport sectors.


TOKYO 00002724 002.2 OF 002


5. (SBU) Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry (METI) DG for
Natural Resources and Energy Policy Kazuhiko Hombu expressed
satisfaction at the positive discussions that took place. He
indicated Japan would provide a readout on the workshop to the
Policy and Implementation Committee (PIC) meeting in Vancouver
October 29-30, while noting it would be the PIC's decision to create
a Road Transport Task Force. Hombu suggested three broad areas for
cooperation that such a task force could consider:

-- Modes of transit (auto, bus, truck, rail, two/three wheelers,
etc.);

-- System efficiencies (logistics and freight, infrastructure,
intelligent transport systems, etc.) and;

-- Statistics/data collection (data compilation practices and
capacity).

Hombu concluded by expressing his hope the positive atmospherics in
Tokyo would carry over to the PIC meeting.

6. (SBU) Delegates agreed the workshop was useful in facilitating
cooperation on energy conservation and reducing CO2 emissions in
road transport. All delegations indicated they would return to
their capitals and consult further, with most noting interest in
following up on the areas of cooperation discussed in the workshop.
In its concluding remarks, the U.S. delegation agreed on the the
workshop's usefulness, while noting the U.S. participants would need
to consult on the next steps upon their return. In his closing
remarks, Grundler noted that the incoming Administration will surely
review the U.S. engagement on international climate issues, and that
this may be a factor as to how we proceed.

7. (SBU) Canada suggested using the October PIC meeting to seek
agreement for a new task force and subsequently to charge members
with exploring the scope of work such a task force might undertake
by drafting an Action Plan (something task forces have created,
based on a loose formula of elements). Should the PIC decide to
proceed with a task force in Vancouver, the Action Plan could be
approved during the following PIC meeting in Australia, tentatively
scheduled for May 2009.

8. (U) This message was cleared by its delegation subsequent to
their return to Washington.

SCHIEFFER

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