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Cablegate: Brazil: Latest On Climate Change Offer and Pre-Copenhagen

DE RUEHBR #1381/01 3341836
R 301836Z NOV 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


BRASILIA 00001381 001.2 OF 004


1. (SBU) SUMMARY. On November 13, the Government of Brazil (GOB)
unveiled its position for the Conference of the Parties-15 (COP-15)
to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in
Copenhagen. The GOB has announced that it will seek to reduce its
economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions by between 36.1 and 38.9
percent by 2020 compared with projected "business as usual"
emissions. Two-thirds of the reductions will come from reducing the
deforestation rate in the Amazon region and - as part of a new
measure - in the savannah region called the Cerrado. Brazil has
come to accept that Copenhagen will produce a political outcome and
it understands that there are domestic constraints that preclude the
USG from significantly increasing its proposed reductions in
emissions for 2020. The GOB has joined up with other countries -
China, India and South Africa (the "BASIC" Group) and the Amazon
countries - in an attempt to increase pressure on developed
countries to make deep reductions in their emissions by 2020, to
obtain commitments for significant amounts of financial assistance,
technology transfer, and capacity building, and to obtain a
commitment not to create trade measures related to climate change.

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2. (SBU) On November 13, the GOB rolled out the nationally
appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) that it plans to present at
Copenhagen. Despite earlier hesitation about announcing a voluntary
economy-wide emissions target (REFTEL), Dilma Rousseff, the Head of
the Presidency (Casa Civil) and head of the Brazilian delegation to
Copenhagen, announced that Brazil would reduce its greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions - i.e., CO2 emissions or CO2 equivalents - by
between 36.1 and 38.9 percent by 2020 compared with the projected
emissions under a "business as usual" (BAU) scenario. The GOB
projects BAU emissions of 2.703 billion tons in 2020 and is aiming
to have reductions of between 973 million and 1.052 billion tons.

3. (SBU) The GOB has provided the following analysis of how it will
achieve these reductions (in terms of tons of GHG emissions)
contrasted with the projected emissions under a 2020 BAU scenario.
The projected 2020 BAU emissions for each source and anticipated
percentage reduction (shown in parenthesis) from the total 2020 BAU
projection of 2.703 billion tons are indicated below for each set of

(in millions of tons of CO2)
Reducing Deforestation Rate 669(24.7%) 1084
-Amazon Biome (564)
-Cerrado Biome (104)

Agriculture Practices 133 to 166(4.9-6.1%) 627
-Recuperation of Pastures (83 to 104)
-Integrated Ag Practices (18 to 22)
-Direct "No Till" Planting (16 to 20)
-Biological Nitrogen Fixing (16 to 20)

Energy Measures 166 to 207(6.1-7.7%) 901
-Energy Efficiency (12 to 15)
-Increased Biofuels Use (48 to 60)
-More Hydroelectric Power (79 to 99)
-Alternative Sources of Energy
(Bioelectricity, Wind, etc.) (26 to 33)

Other Measures 8 to 10(0.3-0.4%) 92
-Use of Sustainable Charcoal
in Pig Iron/Steel Sector (8 to 10)

TOTAL 975 to 1,052(36.1-38.9%) 2,703

4. (SBU) COMMENT. The new development within this table is that
the GOB has shifted from a roughly 50-50 split on reductions from
reducing deforestation and from other NAMAs. (REFTEL) Now, the
breakdown is roughly two-thirds from reducing deforestation and
one-third from other measures. To pump up the reductions from
deforestation, the GOB has added a new NAMA - reducing deforestation
in the savannah region called the Cerrado - which is projected to be
cut by 40% or by about 100 million tons of GHG emissions. Unlike
its approach to deforestation in the Amazon biome, the GOB until now
has not vigorously sought to reduce deforestation in the Cerrado
and, in fact, lacks even basic information on the current rate of
deforestation there. Nonetheless, the GOB has made the Cerrado
deforestation NAMA its second most important source of GHG emissions
reductions. END COMMENT.

BRASILIA 00001381 002.2 OF 004

5. (SBU) Achieving the reductions from the Amazon deforestation
NAMA will not be as challenging for Brazil as it might look because
the GOB is using a BAU emission rate of over 700 million tons for
2020 when the current rate (SEPTEL) is really only about 300 million
tons. Thus, the GOB has already reduced emissions from this source
by approximately 400 million tons (equal to 70 percent of the NAMA
target and about 40 percent of its economy wide target), assuming it
can hold the Amazon deforestation rate at or below the current
level. Reducing emissions from other sources will likely be more
daunting. The Ministry of Science and Technology released on
November 25 its carbon inventory for 2005, which showed a 52 percent
increase in emissions from non-deforestation sources (energy,
industry, agriculture, etc.) from around 615 million tons in 1990 to
935 million tons in 2005. In fact, the GOB projects as part of its
BAU calculations around a 70 percent increase in emissions from the
non-deforestation sources by 2020, i.e., an increase of about 635
million tons to 1.6 billion tons in 2020. It is unknown how much
the GOB included in its BAU projections for emissions related to
bringing on line the production from the vast offshore oil and gas
reserves Brazil has recently discovered.

6. (SBU) NOTE. If Brazil can hold its emissions to about 1.65
billion tons in 2020, this would represent a 25 percent decrease
compared with the 2.2 billion tons emitted in 2005. However, that
level in 2020 would constitute a 21 percent increase compared with
1990. END NOTE.


7. (SBU) President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff
have both said that Brazil is putting out an ambitious economy-wide
emissions number to put pressure on the United States and China and
others to do the same. The GOB was not surprised by the proposals
on emissions reductions and control recently put forward by the
United States and China. However, Brazil has been calling for
deeper emissions reductions by the United States and other developed
countries for 2020. In that vein, Lula said on November 16, "The
numbers President Obama presented are small for the amount of
emissions the United States has produced over the last 200 years.
The [emission reduction numbers] represent only half of Brazil's
commitment to reduce deforestation in the Amazon. If Brazil can do
it, the United States can do a lot more." On November 29, however,
Minister of External Relations Celso Amorim told the press of his
recent conversation with Secretary Clinton on climate change, among
other topics. Amorim called the USG proposal for Copenhagen a step
in the right direction.

8. (SBU) The announcement in Asia of the United States' and China's
determination to seek a political commitment at Copenhagen instead
of a legal agreement confirmed what the GOB had anticipated for some
time. After the announcement, Rousseff said that Brazil would also
seek a political agreement at Copenhagen, which would be followed by
a legal agreement.

9. (SBU) In a letter to President Obama dated November 26, Lula
said that he too would go to Copenhagen. He stressed the need to be
ambitious there and not to reduce expectations on the eve of the
conference. Lula wrote that he understood the domestic context
facing the USG, but emphasized that the USG has a crucial role to
play to achieve success at COP15. He said national contributions
need to be clear, and emphasized that specific numbers on mitigation
and financing are necessary to generate a robust result. Lula noted
that Brazil had resolved to reduce emissions by 36 to 39 percent by
2020, even though it was not an Annex I country.


10. (SBU) The GOB has been actively reaching out to other countries
both from a defensive posture and in a positive fashion. Most
recently, Brazil joined China, India and South Africa ("BASIC" in
Portuguese) in Beijing on November 26-27 to develop a joint position
to take to Copenhagen. The Indian press portrayed this as a
threaten walkout unless the developed countries agreed to their
demands. These demands included a reduction by developed countries
of their emissions by 40% by 2020 compared with 1990 and providing
substantial financial assistance, as well as a statement that
developed countries will not impose any trade barriers related to
climate change. Also the BASIC countries rejected inclusion of the
peak year concept or any other binding emissions limitations for
developing countries and international review of their mitigation
actions if they are not supported by the international community.
However, the Brazilian representative, Ambassador Marcel Biato
(international affairs advisor to the Presidency), did not focus on
a possible walkout in his press interview after the meeting.
Instead, he said that "With a joint position, we will be able to do
what the United States has done in recent international

BRASILIA 00001381 003.2 OF 004

negotiations, which is the "name and shame," which means "identify
those responsible for the eventual failure of negotiations and
attribute responsibilities." On November 29, Minister Amorim
emphasized to the press that Brazil would not accept an agreement
that could lead to possible trade measures, a key BASIC group

11. (SBU) Biato explained that China had called the meeting out of
concern that it might become the scapegoat in the event of a failure
at Copenhagen. "We have the perception that the developed countries
are preparing themselves and we need to have our own common
position, in order not to be at their mercy," Biato told the press.
"The internal measures of the developing countries are domestic
obligations, but cannot become obligations to the international
community. We have the potential to contribute more to address
global warning, but without breaking the spirit of the Kyoto
Protocol," stated Biato. He considered as insufficient the proposal
of the USG to reduce its emissions by 17% by 2020 against 2005,
which is the equivalent of 4.8% in relation to 1990, well below the
40% the emerging countries are calling for.

12. (SBU) COMMENT. While it is possible that Brazil could join in
a walkout with the other BASIC members, it seems unlikely or, if it
did so, it wouldn't stay out long. With Lula planning to attend
Copenhagen, a walkout would tarnish his image, especially since he
has been publicly urging President Obama and other leaders to come
to Copenhagen. Further, domestic politics are playing an increasing
role. The two strongest rival candidates for the presidency - Sao
Paulo Governor Jose Serra and Acre Senator Marina Silva - are
already claiming that Lula and Rousseff are not doing enough on
climate change. A walkout would signal a failure at Copenhagen and
would probably play to the advantage of Rousseff's rivals. END

13. (SBU) A day before on November 26 the BASIC meeting, President
Lula chaired a meeting in Manaus of Amazon countries with
representatives from Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Bolivia,
Suriname, Guyana, and France. (COMMENT: Although billed as a summit,
Guyanese President Jagdeo and French President Sarkozy--representing
French Guyana--were the only other two heads of state who attended.
Sarkozy was a late addition, and his participation clearly had more
to do with France's effort to sell fighters than with concern over
French Guyana's forest interests. Although the paltry attendance by
other leaders is being interpreted in Brazil as disinterest in
climate issues (and as a defeat for Lula's leadership), a series of
factors were at play: the relatively last-minute nature of the
meeting, the ongoing dispute between Venezuela and Colombia,
Bolivia's upcoming elections, the Peru-Chile spy scandal, and a
previously scheduled trip to Belgium by Ecuadorian President Correa
all made the invitation less than appealing to the various leaders.

14. (SBU) The group issued a joint statement that included some of
the demands of the BASIC group. In particular on reductions by
developed countries, it said:

"We call upon all developed countries to implement significant
emission reductions, according to their historical responsibilities.
The adoption of ambitious quantified economy-wide reduction
commitments by all developed countries is essential to ensure that
their mitigation effort will be at a level of at least the 40
percent reduction recommendation of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC) and compatible with the need to protect the
climate system. We call upon all developed countries, including
those Annex I Parties that are not members of the Kyoto Protocol, to
present clear, detailed and unconditional numbers for their
commitments at the 15th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, as
they are a key element to allow for an agreed outcome."

15. (SBU) The Manaus group reaffirmed the G-77 proposal calling for
an allocation by developed countries of 0.5 to 1 percent of their
GDP in support of climate actions by developing countries, as well
as providing technology transfer and capacity building. The Manaus
group explicitly expressed support for including Reducing Emissions
from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) in the results from
Copenhagen, together with financial and technological support for
the protection of biological diversity. The Manaus group was
concerned about trade measures, as was the BASIC group, saying that
"Measures presented by developed countries as part of a mitigation
effort should not generate unilateral trade restrictions or
strengthen trade protectionism." Unlike the BASIC group, however,
the Manaus group did not voice an opinion on the concept of peak
years for developing countries, and the Manaus group seemed to have
a favorable view on monitoring of NAMA. The group declared, "An
instrument could be created to provide for the measuring, reporting
and verifying of actions and support. Non-supported actions should
be internationally recognized."

BRASILIA 00001381 004.2 OF 004


16. (SBU) Brazil has gone farther with its proposal on emissions
reductions than any other developing country in the BASIC group or
the Manaus group. Moreover, it is openly calling for China - not
just the United States and other developing countries - to make an
ambitious proposal at Copenhagen. The GOB clearly wants to keep
pressure on the United States and developed countries with respect
to financing and technology transfer and capacity building, as well
as precluding the creation of trade measures related to climate
change. As evidenced by Lula's letter to Obama, Brazil understands
well that the United States will not be making significantly greater
reductions for 2020 than already announced. END COMMENT.


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