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Cablegate: Finnish Environment Minister Welcomes U.S. Climate

VZCZCXRO3523
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDA RUEHDBU RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA
RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHHE #0509 1861030
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051030Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY HELSINKI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3519
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS HELSINKI 000509

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ENRG ETRD TPHY TRGY FI
SUBJECT: FINNISH ENVIRONMENT MINISTER WELCOMES U.S. CLIMATE
INITIATIVE

REF: STATE 75287

1. (SBU) On June 20, Ambassador Ware briefed Finnish
Environment Minister Paula Lehtomaki on the President,s new
initiative for developing a post-2012 climate change
framework by the end of 2008. While appreciative of the U.S.
proposal, Lehtomaki continued to hold to the EU,s focus on
binding international commitments in any post-Kyoto solution.
Nonetheless, Lehtomaki said Finland was encouraged by the
proposal and by U.S. leadership in building international
commitment to addressing climate change, particularly from
China and India. Citing climate change as one of the key
priorities of the new Finnish government, Lehtomaki commented
on the importance of the U.S. and EU working with other
international partners within the established UN climate
process, rather than simply blazing what she termed "lonely
independent paths."

2. (SBU) Reflecting her previous position as Minister of
Foreign Trade and Development, Lehtomaki stressed that
developing countries have a strong expectation that developed
countries should shoulder the cost of climate change.
Lehtomaki also remarked on the importance of using technology
to address climate change, including carbon capture and
storage; however, she stated that a strong global cap and
trade system is needed to generate adequate investment for
technological solutions.

3. (SBU) Lehtomaki remarked positively on the U.S.-EU High
Level Dialogue on Climate Change, Clean Energy and
Sustainable Development (HLD) that took place last fall in
Helsinki. She briefly shared the difficulty Finland faced in
convincing the EU Commission to put forward a balanced agenda
for the HLD. Lehtomaki reiterated that Finland views the HLD
as an important stepping stone that led to further engagement
between the U.S. and the international community on climate
change issues.

4. (SBU) Comment: A rising star in Finnish politics,
Lehtomaki continues to tow the EU line on climate change;
however, the Finns tend to be pragmatic consensus builders
who are eager to develop a strong international climate
change framework. As such, we can likely count on Finland to
be cooperative and helpful as we work with the EU on climate
change issues as demonstrated during the HLD. End comment.
WARE

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