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Cablegate: Brazil: Washington Sept. 27-28 Meeting On Climate Change

VZCZCXRO6893
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #1742/01 2561628
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131628Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 9931
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 0761
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 5080
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 7119

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 001742

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR G-D.ROCHBERG, OES/EGC-E.FENDLEY AND D.NELSON
DEPT PASS TO CEQ FOR E.LADT AND A.SCHMITZ
ENERGY DEPARTMENT FOR S.EULE - CLIMATE CHANGE PROGRAM

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KGHG SENV ENRG KSCA BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: WASHINGTON SEPT. 27-28 MEETING ON CLIMATE CHANGE

REF: (A) STATE 120600, (B) STATE 109657,

(C) WHITEHOUSE 8020263, (D) STATE 75287,
(E) BRASILIA 1674, (F) 2006 BRASILIA 2661
(G) STATE 124748, (H) STATE 126444

1. (U) THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED AND NOT FOR
INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.

2. (SBU) SUMMARY. Brazil will certainly attend the September 27-28
meeting in Washington on climate change. It appears the Ambassador
Everton Vargas, the Under Secretary for Policy in the Ministry of
Exterior Relations, will head the delegation. Comment. The
Brazilians seem wary, preferring to see climate change negotiations
under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), and they are likely
to promote their proposal for financial rewards for voluntary
reductions in deforestation rates. END COMMENT AND SUMMARY.

3. (SBU) On August 6, Post delivered the invitation letter from
President Bush to President Lula for the September 27-28 meeting in
Washington of representatives of major economies to discuss energy
security and climate change. (REFTEL C) On August 22, Embassy's
Environment, Science, Technology and Health (ESTH) Counselor and
Political Counselor delivered the points in REFTEL B (as well as
background information from REFTEL D), which urged support of the
Government of Brazil's (GOB) active and high-level participation at
the meeting, to Benedicto Fonseca Filho and Alexandre Kotzias
Peixoto, Advisors in the Cabinet of the Minister of Exterior
Relations (MRE), and also to the MRE's Director General for the
Ministry of External Relations Environmental and Special Affairs,
Min. Luiz Figueiredo Machado, and the Head of the Division of
Environmental Policy and Sustainable Development, Counselor Raphael
Azeredo. On August 31, ESTH Counselor delivered the matrices with
guidance on their completion from REFTEL A to Figueiredo Machado and
Azeredo, who are the focal points within the GOB for climate change
issues. On September 11, ESTH Counselor delivered the revised
agenda and the points in REFTEL H to Peixoto, Fonseca, Figueiredo
Machado and Azeredo.

DELEGATION COMPOSITION

4. (SBU) On September 4, Figueiredo Machado informed visiting OES
Assistant Secretary Claudia McMurray and ESTH Counselor that the
Brazilian delegation would most likely be headed by the MRE's Under
Secretary for Policy, Amb. Everton Vargas. He said the rest of the

SIPDIS
delegation was still being put together, and he wasn't sure if he
would be attending or not. In order to participate effectively,
Figueiredo Machaco told Esth Counselor that the GOB would send a
delegation "capable of collaborating," which perhaps would include
members of the Ministry of Science and Technology. At a separate
meeting on August 28 with Dr. Thelma Krug, the Head of the Ministry
of Environment's Climate Change Office, she told ESTH Counselor that
she would be going. (Comment. We would expect Dr. Krug to attend,
however, the MRE jealously guards its prerogative on putting the
delegation together and has not yet confirmed her participation.
End Comment.)

5. (SBU) COMMENT. Amb. Vargas is a pivotal figure within the GOB
on climate change. He has been active in setting Brazil's
environmental policies as far back as the 1992 Rio conference.
Vargas is knowledgeable on the subject and he leads the MRE - which
is the dominant player within the GOB on these issues - with regard
to climate change. END COMMENT.

BRAZILIAN PRELIMINARY VIEWS

6. (SBU) The GOB will certainly attend the meeting, but without much
enthusiasm and plenty of wariness. Entering into this uncharted
series of meetings, they have been quick to highlight some of their
key positions on climate change. The GOB wants to keep the climate
change negotiations under the familiar auspices of the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Figueiredo Machado
characterized the Washington meeting as a chance to "reflect" on
current climate change measures and achievements and the future of
the UNFCC. In a similar vein, the Vice Minister of Environment,
Joao Paulo Capobianco told the press on September 4 that the United
States plays a fundamental role in the question of climate change
and, therefore, Brazil would attend the Washington meeting.
However, Capobianco stressed that Brasil the matter must be decided
through a UN process." Two other principles Figueiredo Machado
emphasized were that (1) there must be a balance among
environmental, economic and social factors, and (2) one size does
not fit all and there will need to be "common but differentiated
responsibilities." These views dovetail with those expressed by the
Brazilians to the August 27-31 Vienna climate change talks reported

BRASILIA 00001742 002 OF 002


in REFTEL G.

7. (SBU) One theme that we expect the GOB to raise at the Washington
meeting and other climate change fora is the proposal for financial
rewards for voluntary reductions in deforestation rate. Post
reported in REFETL F about this proposal, which Brazil submitted to
the UNFCC in late 2006. More recently, Brazil has reported further
reductions in the deforestation rate (REFTEL E). In light of these
developments, Foreign Minister Celso Amorim has announced to the
Brazilian Congress and to the press that Brazil would now get off
the defensive on climate change and get on the offensive. (REFTEL
E) COMMENT. Post expects we will hear much more about this
proposal from the GOB as the debate over a post-Kyoto Protocol
agreement proceeds. END COMMENT.

8. (U) In an interview published on September 9 in O Estado de Sao
Paulo, Environment Minister Marina Silva made several points that
may reflect the GOB position in Washington. She emphasized that the
United States, Europe and the world recognized the key role Brazil
plays in any negotiations on climate change. Further, she stated
that Brazil is the defender of the concept "common, but
differentiated responsibilities". Regarding climate change
negotiations, she said that Brazil has a firm position: "developed
countries must assume and comply with targets, while developing
countries, although not having to assume mandatory targets, have to
assume responsibilities and commitments."

ADDITIONAL CONCERNS AND QUESTIONS

9. (SBU) The Foreign Minister's Cabinet and Figueiredo Machado were
both somewhat perplexed by the presence of Council on Environmental
Quality (CEQ) Chairman Jim Connaughton as head of the U.S.
delegation and were wondering about Secretary Rice's role. ESTH
Counselor and POL Counselor explained the significance of CEQ, which
is part of the White House and has both a domestic and international
role. On a different matter, the GOB interlocutors worried about
the role of private sector and NGOs at this meeting: how would they
be selected; if and when would they be allowed to speak; and, what
role is envisioned for them in the process. COMMENT. The MRE has
long been cautious of NGOs participation in governmental
discussions, and this is no exception. END COMMENT.

10. (SBU) COMMENT. The GOB may question its ranking as one of the
top emitters, which is largely due to the release of carbon
connected with ongoing deforestation. Krug from the Environment
Minister told ESTH Counselor that Brazil disputes the way the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) calculates its
emissions. She asserts that if forests in Brazil were properly
considered Brazil would drop out of the ranks of the top emitters.
She even asserted that Brazil will be at zero emissions in the near
future, due primarily to Brazil's clean energy grid and its ability
to offset emission via carbon credits gained through forest
management policies. Some Brazilian states, such as Amazonas,
already have enjoyed some success with policies to reward businesses
and communities for avoided deforestation. The GOB hopes that its
compensated deforestation reduction plan could have a similar effect
at the national level with an eye toward addressing global climate
change. END COMMENT.

CHICOLA

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