Cablegate: Brazil Is Proud of Its Ambitious Approach to Copenhagen
RR RUEHAST RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTM
DE RUEHBR #1516/01 3571946
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 231943Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0210
INFO ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BRASILIA 001516
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KGHG EFIN EAID EAGR BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL IS PROUD OF ITS AMBITIOUS APPROACH TO COPENHAGEN
COP15 DESPITE DISAPPOINTING RESULTS
(U) THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED AND NOT FOR INTERNET DISTRIBUTION.
1. (SBU) SUMMARY. The Government of Brazil (GOB) expressed disappointment and frustration with the Conference of the Parties-15 (COP-15) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen. President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva principally blamed the position of the United States on mitigation, which he called "too little" and one that did not evolve during the conference. The modest USG goal for 2020 led to Europe not increasing its mitigation proposal from 20 percent to 30 percent for 2020, he explained, and the USG's position incentivized Japan and others to try to eliminate the Kyoto Protocol. Still, Brazil accepts the Copenhagen Accord and sees it as a step forward. Moreover, Lula crowed that Brazil had the best image at COP15 due to its ambitious proposal. END SUMMARY
DISAPPOINTMENT AND FRUSTRATION, MAINLY WITH USG
2. (SBU) The Brazilian press has generally viewed the Conference of the Parties-15 (COP-15) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen as a failure. President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, however, has taken a slightly more moderated stance. He has not called COP15 a failure nor a fiasco. In fact, Lula commented that the final results were "better than expected" compared with the low expectations at the beginning of the conference. Lula and the Brazilian delegation have expressed deep frustration on the lack of progress at COP15.
3. (SBU) Lula has singled out the United States for particular criticism. In his December 21 weekly radio address, Lula said the USG offered "very little" with respect to a 2020 mitigation goal. Earlier he told the press that he had wanted to see an improvement or evolution of the USG position at COP15, but that didn't happen. In his weekly address, he elaborated that the USG isn't a member of the Kyoto Protocol and that with some members of the Kyoto Protocol (Japan and others) they pressed for an end to the Kyoto Protocol. In an earlier interview, Lula linked the Europeans not raising their proposed reduction in emissions for 2020 from 20 percent to 30 percent to the United States not making a better offer.
4. (SBU) Key members of the Brazilian delegation echoed Lula's comments about the United States and expanded on the theme. Presidential Chief of Staff and presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff called the USG financing offer, together with others, of US$30 billion through 2012 "ridiculous compared to the needs of the developing world." Environment Minister Carlos Minc said at the close of COP15 that Brazil was disappointed with the results. He criticized President Obama, saying the people of the planet expected more of a Nobel prize winner. Minc then urged Obama in the upcoming negotiations "to do something or return the Nobel prize." However, a key scientific advisor on the Brazilian delegation, Professor Jose Goldemberg of the University of Sao Paulo, said that Secretary Clinton's participation at COP15 was strong and positive, though he added that President Obama probably could have been more effective if he had arrived earlier.
5. (SBU) There was criticism for other countries besides the United States. Minister Minc said there had been "bad faith" from various sides. He criticized Cuba and Venezuela by name, saying that they and others had sought to block the COP15 from approving the Copenhagen Accord. He added that "there were too many people staring at their navels, and also a climate of distrust that was very bad." The Brazilian press points to China as impeding progress through its recalcitrance over allowing international verification.
BRAZIL THE HERO
6. (SBU) Lula has portrayed Brazil as a white knight at COP15. In his radio address, he stated that "Brazil was considered, during the entire summit, to be the country that presented the best proposal, as the country that worked on this issue correctly." He highlighted Brazil's role in working with the United States, China, India and South Africa to reach an agreement. Brazil's Ambassador for Climate Change Sergio Serra told the press that Brazil had helped mediate between President Obama and the Chinese to conclude the Copenhagen Accord.
7. (SBU) While Lula reiterated the Brazilian offer to reduce its emissions by 36.1 to 38.9 percent by 2020 compared with "business as usual," post-COP15 he and his team have remained quiet about Brazil's willingness to contribute to a global climate change fund. On financing, however, Lula said that Brazil will implement its mitigation activities entirely through its own will. Brazil is not conditioning its efforts on outside financing, though they clearly anticipate receiving significant sums from abroad. Lula underscored in his radio address that the mitigation actions Brazil presented at COP15 have now been enacted as part of domestic legislation. With this legislation in place, he explained, Brazil's ambitious position on climate change is no longer just "Lula's position," but the law, and the next president will have to comply with that law.
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE FUTURE
8. (SBU) Despite disappointment and frustration with COP15, Lula said that he was optimistic about his relationship with Obama. He declared, "I am an optimist. I think that Obama may produce a pleasant surprise." He added, "I expect at COP16 in Mexico that we will arrive at an agreement. I think this is possible." Lula stated, "Between now and COP16 in Mexico the world needs to do all it can to reach an agreement."
9. (SBU) President Lula, his team, and the Brazilian press left Copenhagen frustrated and disappointed. They attributed much of the lack of progress there to what they viewed as a modest proposal on mitigation by the United States that did not improve over the course of the conference. Nonetheless, Brazil accepts the Copenhagen Accord and is proud that it was part of the small group that negotiated it. Despite the grumbling, Brazil is neither disowning the Copenhagen Accord nor backing away from its ambitious proposals on mitigation. END COMMENT.