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Cablegate: Uk Welcomes Mem Forum; Will Seek Targets, Cap and Trade;

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KGHG UK
SUBJECT: UK Welcomes MEM Forum; Will Seek Targets, Cap and Trade;
Unconvinced on MEM-UNFCCC Link

1. (SBU) Summary: DEFRA's Henry Derwent, Director of the Climate
Change Office, told ESTH Counselor on September 21 that the UK
strongly welcomes the Major Economies Meeting (MEM), is "delighted"
by the focus on technology and technology transfer, and is pleased
with the engagement of private business and the diverse group of
participating countries and institutions. The UK wants the U.S. to
put a long-term climate change goal on the table. The UK remains
strongly supportive of cap-and-trade, and is "perplexed" about the
lack of U.S. enthusiasm. They see a price for carbon as an
essential tool to engage and drive the private sector. The UK
remains unclear about the process for supporting the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change through the MEM. Derwent said that
there will be no formal EU coordination for the MEM, although the UK
will take EU views into account. End summary.

Welcoming U.S. Engagement, Broad Participation
--------------------------------------------- -

2. (SBU) During a September 21 discussion of the MEM, Derwent's
first and strongest comment to us was that the UK feels a sense of
relief that the U.S. is "finally engaged" on climate change. (Note:
This comment echoes what FCO Climate Change Representative John
Ashton told us on September 18). On those grounds, the UK will
strongly welcome the MEM forum. Derwent was complimentary about the
Asia-Pacific Partnership (APP), noting the APP's success at engaging
the private sector and at creating an "excellent" sense of equality
between countries at the table. Participation of developing
countries is "essential," Derwent said.

UK Seeking National Targets on Carbon
-------------------------------------

3. (SBU) The U.S.'s long-term goals on climate need to be
"clarified," Derwent said. The UK believes the U.S. should set an
ambitious long-term goal (presumably related to carbon) at a
national level. The goal does not have to be precise, Derwent said.
An ambitious goal will "broadcast" to the investment community,
Derwent said, that carbon emissions will come down a significant
amount. The presence or absence of a long-term U.S. goal will be a
litmus test to the UK about the seriousness of the U.S.'s engagement
on climate change. Emission caps for the aviation and maritime
industries remain a UK priority, he added.

Cap-and-Trade Needed to Draw in Private Sector
--------------------------------------------- -

4. (SBU) The UK is a strong advocate of cap-and-trade to set a
price for carbon, and they remain "perplexed" that the U.S. does not
share their enthusiasm, Derwent said. The carbon cap-and-trade
system will set a price, which in turn will bring in private sector
funding. R&D funding, official development assisQQnce (ODA) and
economic self-interest all lumped together will not achieve the
results needed to truly confront climate change, Derwent said.
Despite much private sector rhetoric supportive of the climate
change agenda, Derwent said that the private sector cannot invest
too much in carbon mitigation without a clear monetary value
attached to that investment. The private sector needs a carbon
price and a carbon market, he said.

Lingering Doubts over MEM/UNFCCC Link
-------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Derwent said that U.S. statements linking the MEM and the
UN FCCC were seen as afterthoughts or were prompted. He asked for
additional explanation of exactly what the USG means by linking the
MEM and the UNFCCC, and how that linkage would be accomplished.

The UK Delegation
-----------------


6. (U) The members of the UK delegation to the MEM are listed
below. Bio information will be sent septel.
* Phil Woolas, DEFRA Minister of Environment
* Michael Jacobs, Prime Minister's Advisor on Environment
* John Ashton, FCO Special Representative on Climate Change
* Graham White, Head, International Energy Department, DBERR
(formerly Department of Trade and Industry)
* Henry Derwent, Director, Climate Change Office, DEFRA

7. (U) The UK's matrix on clean energy policies was received and
sent to State/OES and the White House Council for Environmental
Quality on September 21. A version slightly modified to correct a
typo was received on September 24 and was sent to OES and CEQ as
well.

Comment
-------

8. (SBU) The UK comes to the MEM hopeful that the U.S. is seriously
engaging on climate change. However, they are still worried that
our main objective is to thwart hard targets on carbon. The British
would also like to see clearer explanations of the link between the
MEM outcome and the UNFCCC. End comment.

TUTTLE

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