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Cablegate: Major Economies Meeting On Climate Change: Brazilians

VZCZCXRO6866
RR RUEHRG
DE RUEHBR #1952/01 2841309
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111309Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0164
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 0955
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 5222
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 7212
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0346
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0282
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 0149
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 0189
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0433
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1229
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 2088
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 0335
RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0340
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA 1039
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0331
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 0613
RUEHRO/AMEMBASSY ROME 0329
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0140
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0947
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0227
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 001952

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: MAJOR ECONOMIES MEETING ON CLIMATE CHANGE: BRAZILIANS
EXPRESS PUBLIC, PRIVATE DISAPPOINTMENT

REF: (A) STATE 140075, (B) BRASILIA 1742

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

2. (SBU) SUMMARY. The Brazilian delegation has expressed both
public and private disappointment with the September 27-28 meeting
in Washington of representatives of major economies to discuss
energy security and climate change. After learning at the meeting
that the USG was not prepared to assume any mandatory obligations to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions the head of delegation, Ambassador
Everton Vargas, Under Secretary for Policy from the Ministry of
Exterior Relations dismissed USG efforts to show leadership on
climate change, telling a leading Brazilian daily that, "You can
only have leadership when you, in fact, do something." Dr. Thelma
Krug from the Environment Ministry also was disappointed, but
thought the meeting was a positive because it gave a chance for
further dialogue. She supported having further such meetings, as
long as they facilitated the UN process; and she urged that the
United States accept France's offer to host the next meeting.
Skeptical of USG intentions prior to the meeting and not happy with
the results, Amb. Vargas also chose to complain to the press of what
he saw as abusive conditions imposed by the Secret Service before
President Bush's speech, reportedly telling organizers: "Let's make
one thing very clear. Choose one or the other: I am either a suspect
or a guest!" END SUMMARY.

AMBASSADOR'S VARGAS TAKE: SAME OLD, SAME OLD

3. (SBU) The Brazilian delegation to the September 27-28 meeting in
Washington of representatives of major economies to discuss energy
security and climate change expressed skepticism and disappointment
on their return. The head of delegation, Ambassador Everton Vargas,
Under Secretary for Policy from the Ministry of Exterior Relations
(MRE) told O Globo (the leading national newspaper from Rio de
Janeiro in an article published on September 29), that President
"Bush did not provide any new ideas. He only recited the old
rhetoric and insisted on the resistance to a global goal for the
reduction of greenhouse gases emissions," as stipulated in the Kyoto
Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Vargas added, "We only saw the reiteration of what he [President
Bush] had already said." In the case of Brazil, Vargas explained,
"We don't want this voluntary control approach. Brazil is very much
in favor of the multilateral approach."

4. (SBU) The O Globo article reported that Vargas described
President Bush as trying to convince people that he does not take
global warming for granted anymore, but, "in fact, he only defended
his stubborn position." While President Bush suggested the creation
of an international fund for clean technology, to develop ways to
cut emissions, Vargas noted that that such funding already existed
within the Kyoto Protocol.

5. (SBU) Vargas stressed the Brazilian view about shaping
responsibilities based on cumulative or historic emissions. He
explained, "Those who benefited from 200 years of development
without any kind of concern about the consequences to the planet
should lead a common effort. Would it be fair for a developed
country that has contributed so much to the increase of greenhouse
gases in the atmosphere not to commit to reducing emissions?"

6. (SBU) Vargas characterized the meeting as disappointing. He

BRASILIA 00001952 002 OF 002


said the delegation had gone to Washington with the view that the
meeting was a new opportunity to convince the United States to align
itself with the majority of the countries. This did not happen.
Vargas downplayed President Bush's efforts to make the United States
a leader on global climate change, saying he was using a proposal
(i.e., one without obligations) that had already been rejected by
the rest of the world. He summed up, "You can only have leadership
when you, in fact, do something."

DR. KRUG'S VIEW: DISAPPOINTING, BUT WITH SOME POSITIVES

7. (SBU) Dr. Thelma Krug, the Head of the Ministry of Environment's
Climate Change Office, told ESTH Counselor that the meeting was
very disappointing. She had hoped that the United States would
signal its willingness to assume obligations to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions. Brazil and other developing countries took the
refusal to accept obligations as very negative, Krug opined. She
too stressed the Brazilian position that the agreement coming after
the Kyoto Protocol should take into consideration "historic
emissions".

8. (SBU) Krug worried that the sector by sector approach could lead
to situations whereby companies might migrate to those countries
with the least onerous emissions regimes. She repeatedly
underscored that Brazil doesn't want to see a parallel track created
alongside the UNFCCC process. She did see some positives. She
called having the dialogue on climate change as a very good thing,
and that further such meetings would be quite positive so long as
they facilitated the UNFCCC process and not work outside of it.

9. (SBU) Finally, Dr. Krug strongly urged the United States to
accept the French proposal to have the next meeting in France. She
thought it would be better for the process to go outside of United
States for the next meeting.

ADDITIONAL UPSET - PERCEIVED SLIGHT
10. (SBU) The newspaper O Globo in its September 29 edition
described Ambassador Vargas and the Brazilian delegation, as well as
other foreign delegations, as being poorly treated in Washington.
In particular, it reported Brazilian complaints that the Secret
Service required foreign delegations to the meeting to arrive at
7:30 am. This reportedly made delegations furious as the speech by
President Bush was scheduled for 10:15 am. Vargas said he went
directly to the meeting's organizers and told them: "Let's make one
thing very clear. Choose one or the other: I am either a suspect or
a guest!" According to O Globo, Vargas ignored the request and
arrived at a time of his choosing and was allowed in. Dr. Krug told
ESTH Counselor that the Brazilian delegation was not mistreated,
though she thought it was very excessive to have to go through two
different sets of metal detectors. (Note: State personnel present
were also surprised by the newspaper account. End note.)

11. (SBU) COMMENT: The Mission expects to follow up directly with
Amb. Vargas to get his first-hand impressions. However, the
negative reaction is not surprising, based on the Brazilian
skepticism going into the meeting (REF B). END COMMENT.

SOBEL

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