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Cablegate: Gos Seeks Comparability and Transparency On

VZCZCXRO4444
PP RUEHAG RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLZ RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR
DE RUEHMD #0957/01 2681206
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 251206Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1263
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS
RUEAEPA/HQ EPA WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000957

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES/EGC - W. MOORE; EUR - M. BEH, S.PARKER-BURNS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KGHG SENV ENRG TRGY EUN SP
SUBJECT: GOS SEEKS COMPARABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY ON
CLIMATE CHANGE AGREEMENT

REF: STATE 097542

1. (SBU) Summary: Post delivered reftel demarche on climate
change to Deputy General Director for Mitigation and
Technologies Eduardo Gonzalez and Senior Advisor for
Mitigation and Technologies Sara Aagesen in the Ministry of
the Environment, Rural, and Marine Affairs on September 22.
They are pleased with the Administration's new direction on
climate change and are hopeful of reaching an agreement in
Copenhagen. They see common ground in the positions of the
U.S. and the E.U. and see the areas for discussion centering
around comparability of commitments--both in terms of
emissions reductions and financial contributions--and
transparency in commitments and reporting. They are
concerned about a number of stumbling blocks to an agreement:
1) tensions with China due to the Administration's imposition
of duties on imports of Chinese on tires, 2) growing support
for the imposition of tariffs on products from countries that
do not take action against climate change, 3) Russia's
concept of an emissions bank, and 4) changes or delays in
passing the U.S. Waxman/Markey legislation. They requested
additional information on several subjects - see paras 3, 4,
and 7. End Summary

2. (U) GOS officials Eduardo Gonzalez and Sara Aagesen said
they were pleased with the Administration's new direction and
pointed to the U.S. joining the International Renewable
Energy Agency as an example of the change. They also praised
the cooperation and exchange between the U.S. and Spain on
wind and solar energy. The GOS has placed a high priority on
climate change and Aagesen stressed that Spain is
particularly vulnerable to drought and mass migration, given
its proximity to Africa. Despite the challenge posed by the
economic crisis, Aagesen says that now is the time for an
agreement. She and Gonzalez find common ground in the
positions of the U.S. and the E.U. on climate change and are
hopeful about achieving results in Copenhagen.

Comparability of Commitments

3. (U) Gonzalez and Aagesen said that comparability is a
central concern in the climate change discussions. They seek
clarification on how the U.S. is calculating its 17%
reduction and would like to know whether the figure is a
domestic target or whether it includes mitigation efforts in
developing countries. They also requested more information on
how the Netherlands Environmental Agency study (cited in
reftel) calculates the comparability of U.S. versus E.U.
mid-term targets. They are skeptical that the targets are
comparable and are in the process of analyzing the data.
Aagesen said she was looking forward to an opportunity to
discuss the matter in detail during a Brussels teleconference
with U.S. and E.U. climate change experts scheduled for
September 23.

4. (SBU) The way in which financial contributions are
measured is also at issue. Aagesen requested more
information on how the U.S. is calculating its
contributions--where, for example, the $720 million
designated for deforestation mitigation efforts in the
Waxman/Markey bill would be allocated. At the same time, she
suggested that the USG and the GOS might share positions on
calculating financial contributions given that Spain and the
U.S., unlike many other developed countries, expect continued
population and consumption growth, due to immigration.
Aagesen mentioned the need to incorporate the tracking of
efforts that are currently outside of the Kyoto Protocol and
agreed that the framework should include public and private
funding.

Transparency of Commitments and Reporting

5. (U) The GOS is skeptical of using nationally developed
measures to track emissions. Aagesen argues that the
Copenhagen agreement should make use of existing
institutions, standards, and measures--such as Assigned
Amount Units (AAU). They think that using structures in
place under the Kyoto Protocol will facilitate harmonizing
data, improve the functionality of an international
cap-and-trade program, and increase transparency in
commitments and reporting.

Role of Developing Countries

6. (U) The GOS agrees that developing countries should play a

MADRID 00000957 002 OF 002


role and make commitments, but it does not think that their
reduction targets should be linked to those of developed
countries. Aagesen emphasized the need for countries to make
commitments to funding emissions reductions in developing
countries.

Stumbling Blocks to Agreement

7. (SBU) Gonzalez mentioned that he witnessed firsthand the
tension over the new U.S. duty on Chinese tires when he was
in Beijing last week and was concerned about it affecting the
Copenhagen negotiations. Separately, he raised the issue of
growing support--especially from the governments of Germany
and France--for imposing tariffs on products from countries
that do not take action to address climate change as a
potential stumbling block. Aagesen brought up the issue of
Russia's emissions bank concept. She said that the GOS does
not agree with it and wanted to know the U.S. position on it.
She also voiced concern over how the Senate might change the
Waxman/Markey bill--for example, lowering the emissions
reduction target--and when it would be passed. She
emphasized that any delays in action on climate change would
make it costlier and more difficult.
CHACON

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