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Cablegate: Brazil: "We Will Have an Ambitious Number" for Emissions

VZCZCXRO3870
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTM
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHBR #1136/01 2541932
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111932Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5068
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 4536
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8182
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 9921
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 BRASILIA 001136

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EFIN EAGR EAID KGHG BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: "WE WILL HAVE AN AMBITIOUS NUMBER" FOR EMISSIONS
REDUCTION AT COPENHAGEN

REF: A) BRASILIA 1059, B) 2008 BRASILIA 1462
C) BRASILIA 1114, D) 2008 BRASILIA 750

BRASILIA 00001136 001.2 OF 004


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

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. The Government of Brazil (GOB) will go to
Copenhagen with an ambitious emissions reductions number as part of
the negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC), according to the Minister of External Relations Celso
Amorim. In an early September interview, President Luiz Inacio Lula
da Silva emphasized that Brazil has a moral obligation to do this.
At the same time, Brazil will be pressing the developed countries to
make commitments for deep cuts in their emissions and to provide
generous financing to developing countries. END SUMMARY

WE WILL ANNOUNCE AN EMISSIONS REDUCTION NUMBER

2. (SBU) Following the visits of State Department's Special Envoy
for Climate Change Todd Stern (REFTEL A) and the United Kingdom's
Environment Minister Ed Miliband in early August and Deputy National
Security Advisor Michael Froman in June, the Government of Brazil
(GOB) has visibly begun to take a more ambitious stance in the
negotiations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC). In a recent interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP)
published on September 4, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva stated
that "Brazil is ready to discuss targets and obligations. We will
not be fleeing our responsibility." He said that in November Brazil
will establish a target for diminishing its greenhouse gas
emissions. Lula added, "We have a moral obligation to reduce the
deforestation in the Amazon."

3. (SBU) In an August 23 program of Globo News, Minister of
External Relations (MRE) Celso Amorim discussed at length Brazil's
negotiating position for Copenhagen. He said, "We will have an
ambitious number [for reducing greenhouse gas emissions]." Amorim
expressed concern that developed countries could have used as an
excuse for inaction the - until now - unwillingness of Brazil, China
and India to accept emission reductions goals. "We will not hide
behind any country and no country will be able to hide behind us,"
he declared. Amorim noted that Brazil is in a position to be more
forward leaning than China and India because, unlike them, Brazil
can reduce its emissions just through controlling deforestation.
The others will need to reduce emissions through more difficult
changes in industrial practices. While Brazil will have a number on
reductions, Amorim objected to the use of the word "target," which
he explained is a concept found in the Kyoto Protocol for developed
countries, but is not found in the UNFCCC.

BUT OTHERS WILL NEED TO DO THEIR SHARE.

4. (SBU) President Lula linked goals for reducing emissions from
deforestation to greater efforts by rich countries to control
emission. Lula stated that, "if there isn't an obligation between
targets for preserving our forests [in developing countries] and a
reduction [in emissions] by the rich countries, there will be a
false discussion in which only the poor will pay."

5. (SBU) In his AFP interview, Lula reiterated the GOB's
long-standing position that there should be different standards for
developed and developing countries. Poor countries cannot be
subject to the same restrictions as developed countries, he
underscored. Moreover, Lula highlighted GOB's "historic emissions"
concept, saying that "we want each country to assume responsibility
for the damage it has caused the planet." He argued that the world
cannot attribute the same responsibility for emissions to China as
to the United States or to Brazil as to the UK or France, since the
developing countries have been emitting these greenhouse gases for a
long time.

ROLE OF BRAZIL AND VIEWS ON COPENHAGEN

6. (SBU) Overall, Lula said he saw Brazil as being able to play the
role of "constructing an agreement among the positions of Brazil,
Europe, the United States in order to move forward." Amorim said
Brazil appreciated the visit of Stern and Miliband, and he expected
more progress to be made through the "high level" dialogue Brazil
would be having with the United States. He said he expected to
conclude a Memorandum of Understanding (presumably dealing with this
in the high level dialogue) that would be signed in a near term
visit by Secretary Clinton. Drawing on his negotiating experience
in the World Trade Organization and elsewhere, Amorim joked that
calls for Brazil to be a leader in the UNFCCC really were clever
efforts to get concessions without others have to give anything in
return. Nonetheless, he emphasized that Brazil would set an example
for others with its ambitious position.

BRASILIA 00001136 002.2 OF 004

7. (SBU) Amorim commented that he was optimistic about the UNFCCC
process. He recognized the possibility that the U.S. Congress might
not have legislation in place by the time of the Copenhagen
conference. Thus, he said he could envision something modest coming
out of Copenhagen then giving six months in order to have the U.S.
legislation in place and finally concluding the negotiations.

GROWING PRESSURE FOR MORE AMBITIOUS STANCE

8. (SBU) There is increasing internal pressure for the GOB to move
away from its previously defensive position towards a much more
ambitious one. Most importantly, in late August former Environment
Minister Marina Silva after over twenty years with Lula's Workers'
Party (PT) left to join the Green Party (PV). She is expected to be
their candidate for President in the 2010 elections. This political
development creates pressure on Lula and his PT candidate to succeed
him, Chief of Staff of the Presidency (Casa Civil) Minister Dilma
Rousseff, to burnish their green credentials. Rousseff already was
planning to become personally involved in the negotiations. She
plans to attend the Copenhagen conference, and so will have a
greater personal stake in seeing it be successful. She and Lula
have been taking in information from sources other than the
conservative MRE. Vice Minister Teixeira has been briefing them
both, and Environment Ministry advisor and former head of the
Brazilian Forest Service Tasso Azevedo has been briefing Rousseff.

9. (SBU) The Environment Ministry has stepped up its calls for the
GOB to be more ambitious and agree to emissions reduction targets.
At an August conference held by the respected Brazilian business
journal Valor Economic (and quietly funded by the UK), Environment
Minister Carlos Minc stated that Brazil soon would be announcing a
target for reducing emissions. He spoke of the need to control the
various sources of emissions (not just deforestation, currently the
primary source). Minc's Environment Ministry is working on revising
the National Plan on Climate Change, which was released in December
2008 before the Poznan UNFCCC conference (REFTEL B). Tasso Azevedo
has said that the Environment Ministry is considering making even
deeper cuts in the rate of deforestation, possibly by 80% by 2020
compared with a baseline in the 1990s. This should be easier for
the GOB to accept given the sharp reduction in the deforestation
rate over last year (REFTEL C).

10. (SBU) While the environmental community has long been critical
of the MRE's defensive posture in the Copenhagen negotiations, now
key firms in the powerful private sector have come out forcefully
for Brazil to modify its position in the UNFCCC to a more ambitious
one. An open letter sent in late August to the GOB by 22 major
Brazilian companies (including Vale and Votorantim) called on the
government to take a more positive position, though it did not
specifically call for an emissions reduction target. Moreover, in
the Valor Economico conference, Roger Agnelli, the Chief Executive
Officer of Vale (one of Brazil's largest companies) urged the GOB to
take on emissions reductions targets.

11. (SBU) On September 2, 2009, fourteen large Brazilian
organizations representing the agribusiness, forestry and bioenergy
sectors announced the creation of the Brazilian Climate Alliance, to
provide concrete, constructive proposals in the global climate
change negotiations. Among recommendations to the GOB was that the
reductions in the rate of deforestation proposed in the National
Plan on Climate Change should be the object of a commitment by
Brazil before the international community as a NAMA.

THE MRE STAFF PLAYING CATCH UP

12. (SBU) The MRE's Director of the Environment Department,
recently promoted to the rank of career Ambassador Luis Figueiredo
Machado, and his staff had long insisted that Brazil and other
developing countries would not agree to emissions reductions
targets. Now, they are having to change gears to keep up with the
new approach. At the Valor Economico conference Fiqueiredo Machado
said the GOB would have an "ambitious" position. However, he danced
around the question of whether the GOB would agree to emissions
reduction targets, going off instead on a detailed analysis of the
legal definition of "targets." Vale CEO Agnelli jumped in, saying
targets are a simple concept and Brazil needed to accept them.

13. (SBU) On September 2, Science Counselor spoke with key MRE
staff members, Andre Odenbreit, the Director of the Environmental
Policy and Sustainable Development Division, and Special Ambassador
for Climate Change Sergio Serra, who also had difficulty dealing
with the shifting GOB position. Initially, they were unable to say
if Brazil would be willing to take on an economy-wide emissions
reduction target. After some discussion, however, Serra said that
maybe the GOB could accept some form of an aspirational target.

BRASILIA 00001136 003.2 OF 004


Serra and Odenbreit spoke of the GOB announcing various non-binding
Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) for individual
sectors - deforestations, transportation, energy, etc.

FINANCING AND TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

14. (SBU) Odenbreit and Serra stressed that without satisfactory
financing and technology transfer arrangements there would be no
deal in Copenhagen. They said that while some developing countries
might be able to fund mitigation efforts, most of them needed help.
They said the UNFCCC's work on financing was very delayed and there
were few points of consensus. Brazil liked the G-77 proposal and
was interested in the Norwegian financing proposal, but these had
not been adequately discussed. The GOB did not like the Mexican
proposal for a Green Fund because it would have assessments for all
countries, not just the rich ones; and this is contrary to the
UNFCCC in their view. Technology transfer was just a variation of
financing. It entailed rich countries' assistance so that
developing countries could acquire more expensive, but cleaner,
technologies over cheaper, dirty ones.

15. (SBU) Odenbreit stressed that private sector financing through
offsets was not a substitute for financial assistance from the
governments of rich countries. While Brazil could see a role for
the private sector, he stressed that climate change is a
governmental responsibility and required public financing.

ADAPTATION IS FOR OTHER COUNTRIES

16. (SBU) Serra commented that Brazil was not very concerned about
adaptation issues since they did not see a need to do much there.
He said that this was more an issue for island states and Africa,
which are likely to suffer more from climate change. Out of a sense
of equity with other G-77 countries, Serra stressed that the GOB
wanted to see these other countries are provided financial
assistance to take adaptation measures.

PRE-SALT OIL AND GAS EMISSIONS NOT THREATENING

17. (SBU) The GOB sees that its emissions from the oil and gas
sector will likely increase substantially as it starts up production
- and hopefully refining and other value added processing - of the
vast oil and gas found offshore below the salt layer in the
continental shelf. Nonetheless, Amorim said the figures he had seen
showed that it shouldn't upset their approach. He spoke of using
carbon capture and storage technology to help offset those new
emissions.

OFFSETS AND REDD

18. (SBU) On one key issue, the GOB looks like it has changed over
the last year. Now, the GOB seems to be accepting of the
possibility of offsets in the forest area. The GOB's opposition to
these credits has been roundly criticized by other ministries, the
environmental community, and the private sector. The MRE staff told
Science Counselor that they now could see a role for offsets, but
only in a limited way. Amorim has said that Brazil is not against
offsets, just that they can't be all the rich countries do. The MRE
remains worried that the use of offsets could mean that most of the
emissions reductions would be done by the developing countries,
letting the developed ones off the hook. Amorim said that the GOB
did not oppose Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest
Degradation (REDD), and that in fact this was a part of the
government's Sustainable Amazon Plan (REFTEL D). However, as with
other offsets, Amorim did not want to see REDD be used as a tool for
rich countries avoiding making real reductions in their own
countries.

19. (SBU) This wariness about offsets seems limited to the MRE.
The Environment Ministry vigorously supports them; Minister Rousseff
is particularly interested in them. And in August, President Lula
announced the creation of a special unit in the Presidency to handle
offsets. Thus, whatever the MRE's concerns, it now seems a foregone
conclusion that Brazil will back off its previous opposition to this
mechanism.

20. (SBU) An intriguing question is how offset credits will
interact with domestic goals to reduce deforestation. If other
countries are providing credits to reduce emissions by avoiding
deforestation, then they will plan on using those reductions in
calculating their emissions levels. According to Tasso Azevedo,
however, Brazil is considering also counting those reductions in
emissions in its domestic calculations. Thus, reductions in
deforestation and the commensurate reductions in emissions would be
double counted: once by the countries providing the credits and
then again by Brazil too. In effect, the GOB would be "hosting"

BRASILIA 00001136 004.2 OF 004


emissions reductions.

COMMENT

21. (SBU) COMMENT. During his meeting with Froman, Figueiredo
Machado said that the GOB's position hadn't changed in 18 months.
After that visit and Stern's visit, the GOB's position is changing
significantly and in the right direction. President Lula's and
Minister Amorim's recent statements indicate that Brazil will come
to Copenhagen with an ambitious economy-wide emissions reduction
number. The GOB is eager to build on this summer's productive
meetings and wants further high level dialogues on climate change.
Given these encouraging developments, it seems that further high
level discussions on climate change would be very fruitful. As Lula
has indicated, Brazil is looking to be the "bridge" between the
United States, Europe and the developing world. END COMMENT.

KUBISKE

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