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Cablegate: Vietnam's Strategy for Copenhagen

VZCZCXRO5566
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTM
RUEHTRO
DE RUEHHI #1246/01 3270903
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230902Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0463
INFO ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHMCSUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHMFIUU/HQ EPA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0090
RUEHC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMEMBASSY HANOI 001246

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
STATE FOR EAP/MLS
EAP/EP
OES/EGC
OES/STC
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE
G/ENV
EGAT/ESP
EPA FOR OIA (MARK KASMAN)
STATE PASS TO NOAA/NOS/OIA (JONATHAN JUSTI)
USDA FOR FOREST SERVICE/INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMS (CYNTHIA MACKIE AND ELIZABETH LEBOW)
INTERIOR FOR U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY (GREG SMITH)
BANGKOK PASS TO RDMA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ENRG ECON KGHG VM
SUBJECT: VIETNAM'S STRATEGY FOR COPENHAGEN

REF: STATE 670; STATE 1088

1. Please see paragraph 7 for Action Request.

2. (SBU) Summary: The Government of Vietnam (GVN) intends to play a
more active role during the upcoming fifteenth Conference of the
Parties under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (COP 15) in Copenhagen next month. While Vietnam will not
publicly break with the G77, it will urge all large emitters
regardless of development status to commit to emissions reductions
and will urge the developed world to fund some, but not all, costs
associated with developing world adaptation and mitigation responses.
At Copenhagen, Vietnam would like to set up meetings for Prime
Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, who is leading its delegation, with
President Obama or the leader of the U.S. delegation, and for
Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Pham Khoi Nguyen. End
Summary.

Vietnam Wants All Major Emitters to Commit to Reductions
--------------------------------------------- -----------

3. (SBU) Pham Van Tan, the Deputy Director for International
Cooperation within the Ministry of Natural Resources and the
Environment (MONRE) and a member of the GVN climate change
negotiating team, told Emboff that the GVN would urge all large
emitters, regardless of development status, to commit to cuts in
emissions during the upcoming COP 15 in Copenhagen. Though the GVN
will not single out China by name, Vietnam includes its northern
neighbor as a large emitter in this formulation. At the same time,
concerned about relations with "Big Brother," Vietnam does not want
the United States or the EU publicly to highlight this inclusion of
China during the Copenhagen discussions. (Note: The GVN provided a
similar briefing to the Spanish and Swedish Ambassadors to Vietnam on
behalf of the EU). Vietnam hopes that the Kyoto Protocol may be
revised to require specific emissions cuts from non-Annex I countries
and that the United States will then sign on to this amended
document.

Vietnam Will Urge Developed World to Fund Some,
But not All of Developing World Climate Change Response
--------------------------------------------- ----------

4. (SBU) The GVN does not support the rigid Group of 77 position that
the developed world must provide adaptation and mitigation technology
transfer free of charge, which it does not find realistic. Though
Vietnam believes that climate change is largely due to historical
emissions from the developed world, every country is responsible for
implementing solutions. At Copenhagen, the GVN publicly will urge
that the developed world provide some level of assistance to
developing countries based upon the severity of likely impacts from
climate change (Note: not coincidentally, experts agree that Vietnam
will be among the countries most affected by sea level rise). At the
same time, the GVN will note that it does not expect the developed
world to fully fund climate change responses from the developing
world.

Vietnam not Optimistic for Copenhagen Breakthrough
--------------------------------------------- -----

5. (SBU) The Vietnamese negotiation team left the recent Barcelona
discussions feeling pessimistic about chances for substantial
progress in Copenhagen. Though Vietnam felt that obtaining general
agreement on which concept papers to present at COP15 was a minor
success, it noted that the different factions had yet to reach any
agreement on what the concept papers should contain and was not
optimistic that the parties would reach such consensus by next month.

HANOI 00001246 002 OF 002


Vietnam Will Be More Active in Copenhagen
-----------------------------------------

6. (SBU) While acknowledging that Vietnam to date has not played an
active role in global meetings, Tan noted that the Vietnamese
delegation intends to be more pro-active in Copenhagen. Consistent
with general, conservative GVN decision-making processes, in the
past, Vietnam has studied the differences between the positions of
the developed and developing country blocs. Based on these studies,
GVN climate change negotiators developed a strategy for COP 15, which
they have submitted throughout the GVN for approval. The Prime
Minister generally has approved the recommendations that the GVN play
a more active role in Copenhagen, that it urge all major emitters to
commit to emission cuts and that it seek measured contributions from
the developed world. Over the next few weeks, the GVN will update
and refine these positions, with few expected changes.

High-level Vietnamese Delegation
--------------------------------

7. (SBU) Tan again noted that Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung will
lead the Vietnamese delegation to Copenhagen with MONRE Minister Pham
Khoi Nguyen serving as deputy delegation head (Ref B). At a climate
change conference earlier this month, GVN officials stated that the
rest of the delegation would consist of leaders from the Ministry of
Planning and Investment, the Ministry of Finance, and the Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development. Vietnam's technical delegation
will be led by a director general from MONRE. Vietnamese delegates
in Copenhagen will attend and make presentations at seminars on
commitments of parties not subject to Annex I, revision of the Kyoto
Protocol, commitment to post- 2012 emission reduction by parties not
subject to Annex 1, technological transfer, and capacity building for
climate change adaptation and mitigation and financial issues. With
support from the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Vietnam will
also organize a sideline conference on "Vietnam's response to climate
change."

Action Request: Bilateral Meetings
-----------------------------------

8. (SBU) The GVN has asked whether the head of the USG delegation can
meet with Prime Minister Dung during the COP and, if not, whether a
suitable high-level USG representative can meet with MONRE Minister
Nguyen. Both men will arrive in Copenhagen on December 14 and depart
on December 18
Michalak

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