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Cablegate: Brazil: Supports Goals but Not Means in U.S.-Canada-Mexico

VZCZCXRO6271
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTM
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHBR #1202 2711900
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281900Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5159
INFO RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO 4606
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO 8247
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 9984
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BRASILIA 001202

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EFIN EAGR EAID KGHG BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: SUPPORTS GOALS BUT NOT MEANS IN U.S.-CANADA-MEXICO
PROPOSAL TO MONTREAL PROTOCOL

REF: STATE 95899

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

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. The Government of Brazil (GOB) understands and
is concerned by the growing use of HFCs to replace HCFCs.
Nonetheless, it is opposed to both the U.S.-Mexico-Canada and the
Mauritius and Micronesia proposals to the Montreal Protocol to
address this problem. The GOB sees such proposals as undermining
the Kyoto Protocol, which covers HFCs already. END SUMMARY

2. (SBU) Per REFTEL, Science Counselor met on September 24 with
Bianca Abreu, the officer handling the Montreal Protocol within the
Ministry of External Relations' (MRE) Division of Sustainable
Development Policy, to discuss the U.S.-Canada-Mexico proposal to
the Montreal Protocol. That proposal would phase down the
consumption and production of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), greenhouse
gases currently controlled under the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol, and
that are substitutes to ozone depleting chemicals being eliminated
under the Montreal Protocol. Abreu already had received a copy of
the proposal and had analyzed it carefully.

3. (SBU) Abreu said that Government of Brazil (GOB) agrees with the
goal of this proposal to take action to prevent the growth in the
use of HFC, which are the fact that HFCs are the predominant
low-cost substitutes for hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) being
phased out under the Montreal Protocol. While she thought that this
proposal was more effective than the proposal of Mauritius and the
Federated States of Micronesia to address the same problem, she
stated that the GOB could not support either one.

4. (SBU) The issue for the GOB is that HFC's are included under the
Kyoto Protocol. The GOB sees these two proposal as "weakening" the
Kyoto Protocol. Abreu recognized the attempt in Article III of the
U.S.-Mexico-Canada proposal to address the possible conflict between
the Montreal Protocol and the Kyoto Protocol. She said that was not
satisfactory. The GOB was opposed to any amendment to the Montreal
Protocol dealing with a chemical covered by the Kyoto Protocol.
Abreu said that the MRE still needed to coordinate with the other
interested ministries and agencies, but she did not expect there to
be a change in position on this critical point.

5. (SBU) The GOB does recognize that the growing use of HFCs is a
problem. One way to deal with the problem that they could support
would be to create incentives and financing to help countries that
are eliminating HCFCs to move to some chemical other than HFCs, one
that was not a greenhouse gas or a threat to the ozone layer. This
could be done with a modification to the regulations governing the
Montreal Protocol's financing mechanisms.

6. (SBU) COMMENT. It is good to see that the GOB views with
concern the growing use of HFCs and thinks the U.S.-Canada-Mexico
proposal is better than that of Mauritius and Micronesia. The
fundamental challenge for getting Brazil on board will be finding an
approach that doesn't raises alarms for them about undermining the
Kyoto Protocol. The use of positive, financial incentives to avoid
switching to HFCs could be a starting place for a conversation on
this issue. END COMMENT.

KUBISKE

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