Search

 

Cablegate: Oct-Nov Regional Environment Newsletter, East Africa

VZCZCXRO6343
RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #2843/01 3371200
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031200Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7003
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEPADJ/CJTF HOA
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 4108
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0542
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0385
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 5672
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 4136
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 1618
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 0202
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 3834
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0072
RUEHPL/AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS 0908
RUEHAN/AMEMBASSY ANTANANARIVO 0144
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 1227
RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK 0027
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 5016

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 ADDIS ABABA 002843

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E-JWIEGERT,OES/PCI-MGERDIN,OES/STC-
TBURNS,OES/SAT-FECHAVARRIA,EEB/IFD/OMA-JWINKL ER AND EEB/CBA-
DWINSTEAD

DEPARTMENT PASS TO USAID JEFF HUMBER

USTDA KATHRYN DORMINEY

DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC FOR ITA MARIA RIVERO

DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC FOR REBECCA KLEIN

DEPT OF ENERGY FOR TSPERL

E.O. 12958: NA

TAGS: KSCA SENV ENRG ETRD PGOV ECON ET

SUBJECT: OCT-NOV REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT NEWSLETTER, EAST AFRICA

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 001.2 OF 012


-------
SUMMARY
-------
1. (U) Summary: This Regional Environment Office (REO) eastern
Africa newsletter combines reporting from October and November
2009, with an emphasis on energy developments, the latest USG
and Africa climate change positions in the run up to
Copenhagen, updates on the Nile Basin Initiative, and an
article on land degradation in Ethiopia. From climate change
to renewable energy development and transboundary watershed
management and its implication on food security, Environment-
Science-Technology-Health (ESTH) issues are hot topics
garnering high-level foreign policy attention. To view a copy
of the newsletter online, visit our intranet site:
http://addisababa.state.gov/REO_Newsletter/
default.asp?fname=2009. End summary.

-----------------------------------
East Africa Alternative Energy Buzz
-----------------------------------
2. (U) The African Rift Geothermal Risk Mitigation Fund
Stakeholders Conference: U.S. Embassy Nairobi Christopher
Walton and U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa Moges Worku attended the
African Rift Geothermal Risk Mitigation Fund (ARGeo)
Stakeholders Conference at the United Nations Environment
Program (UNEP) headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya on November 25-
26, 2009. The ARGeo project was created in 2005, but is only
just nearing the implementation phase with the Lake Asaal
geothermal project in Djibouti. ARGeo's premise is to provide
insurance for consortiums interested in drilling geothermal
wells. If the well is unusable, then the insurance will defray
part of the cost of the drilling (one well at 60; 75% if
multiple wells are drilled). If the drilling is successful,
than no money is spent and the money can be used to provide
insurance for another drilling cycle. The ARGeo project has
approximately $11 million for the insurance portion and $7
million for technical assistance. Approximately $13 million is
from the World Bank and $4 million from UNEP. Each project's
insurance could consume up to $5 million so ARGeo can only
fund two failures before running out of money. Any remaining
technical assistance money could still be spent.

3. (U) WB-GEF, Germany, and Iceland Say USG Needs to Step Up:
The conference was contentious with targeted comments against
the USG for a lack of commitment to the ARGeo fund.
Christopher and Moges noted that their presence at the meeting
was as observers and they were not authorized to state
commitments. They highlighted the USG contributions to date
and noted a desire to stay engaged with the intent to commit
in the future as opportunities arise and resources become
available, particularly as it is just coming online in the

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 002.2 OF 012


implementation phase and has the potential to play a key role
in further developing geothermal resources in the region.

4. (U) Without Commitment, USG to Lose Seat at Steering
Committee: Representatives from the World Bank, the Global
Environment Facility (GEF), Iceland, and Germany were not
pleased with USG responses and concluded that the USG seat on
the Steering Committee would be in jeopardy if commitments are
not forthcoming. The Iceland representative read a 2005
document that cited a USG commitment of $1.3million to the
ARGeo fund. DoE clarified to the Regional Environment Office
(REO) in Addis Ababa and GEF officials in early September 2009
that the USG never made a financial commitment to support the
ARGeo fund with a specific figure. Rather, we have made in-
kind contributions and our contributions to the GEF fund serve
as our financial commitment to the ARGeo. Christopher and
Moges reiterated this message at the ARGeo meeting. Other
countries took issue with the accuracy of this 2005 GEF
document as well.

5. (U) Poor planning: This meeting was announced with just
over two weeks advanced notice and took place on the
Thanksgiving holiday. Regardless, USG representatives were
able to attend. The World Bank Chair of the meeting reported
that Italy and France were expected to come to the meeting,
yet they did not show up. The Japanese, another key player in
ARGeo funding, did not respond to the last minute invitation.

6. (U) Comment: The lack of advanced planning for this meeting
speaks volumes, with key players (Italy, France, Japan, and
New Zealand) not in attendance. Key GEF officials knew the
USG position in advance and should not have been surprised.
Excluding the USG from future meetings and the Steering
Committee would be short-sighted. REO recommends that the USG
should continue engagement: the ARGeo project has buy-in from
all of the countries in the region and ARGeo offers a platform
for cooperation and data sharing between countries in the East
African region. The U.S., through many activities, was
instrumental in bringing ARGeo to the GEF for funding and we
should not let others usurp full credit for the initiative.
End comment.

---------------
ACROSS ETHIOPIA
---------------
7. (U) Is Ethiopia's Energy Sector Serious about Attracting Foreign

Investment? Positive Signs: United States Trade and
Development Agency (USTDA) desk officer for eastern Africa and
a United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
consultant recently visited Ethiopia to explore potential

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 003.2 OF 012


opportunities for U.S. investment. REO requested the USTDA
visit given recent developments that suggest the Government of
Ethiopia's (GoE) willingness to open its energy-sector to
outside investment. For example, the Minister of Mines and
Energy, during a meeting with Charge Meece and DCM Mushingui,
noted that the GoE is considering permitting various power
purchasing agreements (PPAs) and other modalities conducive to
attracting outside investment in the electricity sector.
Moreover, a September 2009 conference on how to set
up/structure PPAs was held in Addis, the GoE hosted a June
2009 High Level Decision Makers Conference on Geothermal in
Addis that focused on the need enact reforms to generate
investment (along a KenGen model), and Ethiopia also hosted a
December 2008 energy investment meeting in Addis all touted
Ethiopia's intention to attract much-needed foreign investment
into its floundering energy sector.

8. (U) USTDA Visit: REO accompanied the USTDA official on her
energy sector meetings with the Ministry of Mines and Energy
(MoME), the Geological Survey of Ethiopia (GSE), the Ethiopia
Electrical Agency (EEA), and the Ethiopia Electric and Power
Company (EEPCo). Discussions were informative and the USTDA
official noted a potential to fund small-scale capacity
building projects. USTDA, however, surmised that larger-scale
funding would be premature in a pre-drilling environment,
particularly given that EEPCo officials informed the USTDA
official that they currently seek concessional financing for
energy projects (similar to Japan's arrangement at the Aluto
expansion).

9. (U) USAID AIP: While EEPCo's assertion seemed to contradict
signals from other branches of the GoE involved in the energy
sector, a USAID consultant from Nextant (the implementing arm
of USAID's Washington-based Africa Infrastructure Project-AIP)
visited Ethiopia on the heels of the USTDA visit and received
similar information regarding concessional financing.
According to the readout of the USAID-AIP visit, the
consultant noted "the government wants to see the private
sector complement public resources but it prefers
concessionary financing for the public sector to take the
lead, for now." There may be room for some small-scale USAID-
AIP engagement, however, with the consultant reporting that he
will "seek to identify the way to proceed for future
cooperation." To add to the mix, a revised feed-in tariff in
draft form appears to leave the door open for private
investors to sell electricity to grid, although the language
remains vague and the bill has not yet passed Parliament.

10. (U) Comment: The good news is that, despite conflicting
messages, there appears to be slow progress. Like an enormous
elephant that is just starting to move, sheer inertia is

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 004.2 OF 012


working in the favor of establishing a forward momentum after
those first tentative steps. End Comment.

11. (U) REO PodCast: REO eastern Africa joined forces with the
Africa Media Hub in Pretoria, South Africa to generate a
podcast focused on the environmental issues in East Africa
ahead of the December Copenhagen climate change meeting. One
of the Africa Media Hub's key mandates is to increase the
number of USG voices in the African Sphere. They accomplish
this mainly through media interviews or self recorded podcasts
which they then distribute to media in Africa. For more
information about the program, or to request an interview to
promote your issues, contact Wangui Muchiri at
Muchiriwe@state.gov. To listen to the REO podcast, visit:
usgreenafrica.state.gov or
http://southafrica.usembassy.gov/mediahub.htm l.

12. (U) America Recycles Day: OES hosted a Recycling Exhibit
at the State Department in Washington, DC on November 21,
highlighting U.S. embassy recycling efforts throughout the
world. To support the exhibit, embassies provided posters,
slide shows, and videos. The Exhibit was filmed and will be
part of a BNET presentation on recycling tentatively scheduled
to be aired the second week of December. Due to the success,
FSI has requested that the exhibit come to them. U.S. Embassy
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia submitted copies of two posters,
highlighting our plastic bottle and paper recycling programs.

13. (U) Pervasive Land Degradation Documented in Ethiopia and
Food Security Implications: The Regional Environment
Specialist (RES) evaluated areas within the Ethiopian
highlands following Ethiopia's rainy season for three
consecutive years, completing a study that cites unsustainable
activities such as over-cultivation, overgrazing,
deforestation, and farming on steep slopes with erodible soils
have combined over the years to result in pervasive land
degradation.

14. (U) With over 80% of Ethiopia's population involved in
agriculture, the GoE's economy is largely driven by and
dependent upon agriculture. Although government officials pay
tribute to the need for agricultural reform, patterns of land
degradation and deforestation continue throughout Ethiopia
despite government claims to the contrary. Studies conducted
by the Environmental Economics Policy Forum for Ethiopia
(EEPFE) have produced similar findings of poor agricultural
practices and neglect that support the RES study. Given
direct linkages to food insecurity, water insecurity, energy
shortages, and economic losses, the adverse impacts of land
degradation hamper efforts to promote poverty alleviation and
fuel economic growth; two U.S. Embassy Addis Ababa Mission

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 005.2 OF 012


Strategic Plan priorities. Without vital reforms designed to
address soil and water conservation, the agricultural sector
will continue to fail to produce, famine will accompany
droughts, and agricultural development-based plans will remain
ineffective.
Please visit the RES photo gallery to access pictures of the
RES three-year study: F:\Regional
Environment\Admin\Issues\Environmental
management\Ethiopia\Monitoring Watershed Processes

15. (U) Embassy Co-hosts Event with Lester Brown, Earth Policy
Institute Founder: During his International Visitor Leadership
Program (IVLP) in the U.S. in the summer 2009, the Ethiopian
Forum for Environment (FfE) Director Negusu Aklihi met the
Earth Policy Institute founder and MacArthur Award winner Dr.
Lester Brown and invited him to be the featured speaker at a
High Level Meeting in Addis Ababa on October 26. Dr. Brown
spoke on the topic of his latest book, "Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing
to Save Civilizations." The Embassy co-sponsored the
conference and Charg d'affairs Ambassador Roger Meece
delivered opening remarks. The approximately 40 audience
members included senior officials from the GOE,
representatives of NGOs and academics in the environmental
field, as well as foreign diplomats.

16. (U) Dr. Brown is an inspirational speaker on the topic of
environmental sustainability and climate change. Dr. Brown's
long experience as an environmentalist and researcher was
evident in his ability to chart progress in the development of
renewable resources and awareness by governments and citizens
alike of the importance of environmental issues. He was
surprisingly upbeat about U.S. policy direction over the last
nine months on environmental issues, citing 1) the Obama
Administration's announcement in February of new fuel economy
standards; 2) President Obama's instruction to the Department
of Energy to develop regulations on appliance efficiencies; 3)
the substantial incentives in the stimulus package for
investment in renewable energies and clean technologies; 4)
the emission cutting goals that will be set for the federal
government; and 5) the Environmental Protection Agency
Administrator's request to businesses for annual carbon
footprint measurements.

17. (U) Dr. Brown posited that U.S. carbon emissions may have
actually peaked two years ago, noting that the nine percent
emissions reduction of the last two years cannot be attributed
to the economic slowdown alone. He pointed out that 22 U.S.
coal-fired power plants are slated to close this year, and
that oil-dependent Texas is now the leading generator of
electricity from wind power. The big question, according to
Dr. Brown, is whether the U.S. and the world will be able to

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 006.2 OF 012


cut our carbon emissions quickly enough to preserve our
"civilization as we know it."

18. (U) Ethiopian-American Returns to Birthplace and Makes a
Difference: During a recent Watershed Processes Assessment
trip to the Central and Northern Ethiopia highlands, the
Regional Environment Specialist (RES) had a chance to visit a
reforestation project run by a private individual, Ato Gashaw
Tahir, in the Western Amhara Region. Gashaw was born in the
area but lived in the U.S. for 30 years. When he recently
returned to his place of birth, he was astounded by the extent
of deforestation that had taken place in the area that he
remembers as having abundant forest cover. Deciding to act, he
shared a reforestation plan with the local administration who
then granted him land. Using his own finances, he then raised
over a million seedlings and planted more than 40 hectares (99
acres) of degraded land in 2006.

19. (U) After three years of management, his plantation sites
have turned into promising forest areas which many view as
typical examples of what could be done to reverse the
pervasive land degradation process on the Ethiopian highlands,
even at the individual level. Gashaw also encouraged local
institutions such as schools and private individuals to plant
trees by supplying them with seedlings free of charge. Due to
Gashaw's exemplary community service, he was honored with
"Green Hero" 2009 awards at both Federal and Regional levels.

------------------------------------------
Environment Meetings/Workshops in Ethiopia
------------------------------------------
20. (U) Peace Corps Environment: Peace Corps Ethiopia is in
the process of expanding its activities by starting a new
sector in environment to complement its existing Health
program. Peace Corps' involvement in the health sector has
played a contributory role toward the realization of
Ethiopia's Millennium Development goals in the health sector,
but the country remains behind in reaching the goals within
the Environment sector. Consequently, in September 2010 Peace
Corps Ethiopia plans to launch the Conservation and Natural
Resource Management (CNRM) sector based on the demand to fill
the gaps within this important and rapidly growing sector.
REO will attend the December 22, 2009 stakeholders meeting and
offer program development input.

21. (U) Colorado State University (CSU) and the National
Science Foundation (NSF): CSU and NSF will host two workshops
in Addis Ababa, December 18 and 21, 2009. The first is
designed to build collaborative networks between U.S. and
Ethiopia in areas of research and higher education, while the
second will focus on professional training programs in

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 007.2 OF 012


Geographic Information Systems (GIS). REO will attend both
workshops and offer input regarding GIS needs throughout the
region. REO will also host a dinner with the trainers.

22. (U) The Office of Naval Research Science and Technology
Workshop: The Office of Naval Research (ONR) is organizing a
science and technology workshop in Egypt in January, 2009
along with the Naval Medical Research Unity-3. ONR is
focusing first on North Africa and the Middle East, but is
starting the process of exploring how to better invest in
science and technology research throughout Africa. The meeting
is a step toward devising a comprehensive strategy for ONR
investment in sub-Saharan Africa, with ONR hoping to identify
research projects for investment as a result of the workshop.
ONR reached out to both REO eastern Africa and REO Middle
East-North Africa for input. In addition to attending the
workshop, REO has volunteered to be a presenter, explaining
what we do and how we can work together.

-------------
WATER MATTERS
-------------
23. (U) Nile Basin Initiative's 10th Anniversary: REO will
attend the Nile Basin Initiative's (NBI) ten-year anniversary
ceremony in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, December 6-8, 2009. The
celebrations will mark ten years of cooperation and progress
in the sustainable management of the Nile River water
resources and represents the NBI communication team's efforts
to broadcast the Nile success story. The three-day event will
bring together government leaders, members of parliament,
civil society, media, academia, business community, youth, and
development partners, among others for speeches, workshops,
and other activities.

24. (U) What is there to celebrate? With contentious
Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) negotiations in flux,
what does the NBI have to celebrate? Over the past decade,
the Nile Basin member states have come together to build a
knowledge base covering the river, its wetlands and
tributaries, and the livelihoods and vulnerabilities of the
more than 160 million people who live within the Nile basin.
The NBI has mobilized more than $1 billion in investments to
support improved access to energy as well as water resources
and environmental services. Of critical importance is the
fact that the past decade has seen the emergence of regional
thinking and collaborative decision-making among the Nile
basin member states, advancing a key objective to promote
peace and stability throughout the region.

25. (U) Nile Basin Trust Fund Meeting: The Nile Basin Trust
Fund (NBTF) donor partners met in Stockholm, Sweden in early

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 008.2 OF 012


October to discuss NBI progress and prospects for the future.
The general consensus was that NBI projects and programs were
progressing on schedule and mostly on target, advancing key
technical objectives in a timely manner. Of particular note
was the success of Nile-TAC (technical advisory committee) in
terms of overcoming regional suspicions and prejudices. For
example, the NBI's Eastern Nile Technical Regional Office
(ENTRO) located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is staffed by
representatives from Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan. In the early
days of the NBI, this office was a hotbed of discontent, with
staff communicating with their home country more frequently
than with each other. Ten years later, and the ENTRO office
is a model of cooperation and collaboration, with little
evidence of the early-day rivalries. Donor partners are
anxious that the politically contentious CFA negotiations
taking place at the Nile Council of Ministers (Nile-COM)
level, however, may have an adverse impact at the technical
levels, as evidenced by the results of the First Joint Meeting
of the Nile-Technical Advisory Committee (Nile-TAC) and the
Negotiating Committee of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) that
was held in Kampala September 28 and 29.

26. (U) Joint Meeting: The joint meeting was convened
following a decision of the Nile-COM at their 17th Ordinary
Session held July 27 and 28 in Alexandria, Egypt. Participants
were drawn from the nine Nile Basin countries. A UK NBTF
colleague reported that the meeting was tense and acrimonious
and served no purpose other than to highlight that the gap
between upper and lower riparians seems to be widening. The
Egyptians, as the Chair, went to the meeting with no new ideas
and they refused to sign the agreed minutes at the end of the
meeting.

27. (U) Moving forward: The World Bank is advising that, at
this critical time for the NBI where high levels of government
are engaging, it is important that donor countries respect
that the present CFA issue is a political matter between
sovereign states. Bank officials recommend that donor partners
'stand back, but stand by,' (meaning, refrain from engaging
proactively, but be ready to consider reasonable requests for
support). The World Bank Nile Team feels the focus at this
time should be to continue to support the NBI on the delivery
of its programs and projects (meaning, the technical level),
stating that "continued progress by the NBI in building a
regional institution and delivering investments needs to speak
for itself." Donor partners contemplated sending an NBTF
communiqu to the NBI and Nile-COM following the NBTF October
meeting, to advance the message that we support continued
efforts to reach a unified solution that will institutionalize
formal intergovernmental mechanisms for promoting cooperation
and coordination within the basin. After much deliberation,

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 009.2 OF 012


all agreed to withhold the communiqu to avoid the risk of
basin countries manipulating the communiqu's text to
influence the next Nile-COM meeting scheduled for late
February/early March 2010. (Contact REO if you would like to
see a copy of the draft communiqu: Baumanks@state.gov.)

28. (U) Nile-COM 2010: The six-month "cool down" period agreed
to at the July 2009 Nile-COM meeting in Egypt has not provided
a basis for the Nile basin countries to move forward in an
inclusive manner regarding the CFA. The upper riparian
countries continue to retain their views as expressed by the
decisions taken at the Nile-COM meeting in May 2009 in
Kinshasa (with the six upper riparians willing to sign the CFA
without Egypt and Sudan, effecting an NBI "split"). Egypt and
Sudan, however, argue that the Nile-COM meeting in Alexandria
in July reversed the decisions previously taken in Kinshasa in
May. Yet because no new ideas have been circulated to address
the stalemate, another confrontation for a potential "CFA
split" at the next Nile-COM meeting looms on the horizon.
Egypt, however, appears to be engaging in a frenzied "charm"
campaign to win over some of the upper riparians and gain
another 6-month respite period. U.S. Embassy Cairo officer
covering African affairs reports a recent beef deal between
Ethiopia and Egypt. Moreover, Egypt is making overtures
throughout the basin to help countries with agricultural
development through Nile irrigation schemes (Egypt would be in
charge of the development). The U.S embassy officer in Cairo
noted that it's his understanding that this may already be
underway in Uganda with Egypt's intent, according to the U.S.
embassy Cairo officer, to "pick off" two of the upper
riparians (likely Uganda and Tanzania) so that they don't
agree to sign the CFA in late February/early March 2010.

29. (U) Tekeze Dam Opening Ceremony: On November 14, 2009, the
government of Ethiopia celebrated the completion of the
government-funded $350 million Tekeze Hydropower Project in
northern Ethiopia. The dedication ceremony took place at the
site of the dam on Ethiopia's Tekeze River and attracted
foreign and Ethiopian government officials, media and business
leaders and included remarks from U.S. Embassy Charge
d'affairs, Ambassador Roger Meece. Ambassador Meece praised
Ethiopia's commitment to bringing power and a better quality
of life to the people of Ethiopia through the development of
renewable energy sources, and urged the government to continue
diversification from imported petroleum, citing Ethiopia's
"staggering amount of potential renewable energy sources that
include geothermal, wind, solar, and biofuel as well as
hydro." Other speakers included Prime Minister Meles Zenawi,
the Minister of Mines and Energy, the Minister of Trade and
Industry, the Director General of the Ethiopian Electric Power
Corporation, the Chinese Ambassador, and others.

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 010.2 OF 012

30. (U) Ethiopia is in the throes of dire energy shortages
(peaking at 200MW in 2009). The GoE was forced to cut
electricity for 14 hours daily for 12 days each month during
the summer and early fall 2009; a situation that reportedly
cost the country's economy more than 1% of its GDP. Although
Ethiopia has 783 MW of grid-based electricity, domestic peak
demand has reportedly risen 24% beyond the national utility's
supply. By tapping into the significant energy generation
potential in the country's rivers, the Tekeze Hydropower
Project is designed as a low-cost way to increase the
stability and access to light, heat and water for all
communities. At 188 meters-high, the Tekeze Hydropower Project
is the tallest dam in Africa. It is expected to provide 300
megawatts of clean, renewable power, although it currently is
generating 75 MW. GoE officials claim that water levels are
sufficient to operate the plant at full capacity, but at those
levels, the dam would run out of water before the next rainy
season. According to GoE officials, the dam's reservoir
should have sufficient levels of water storage to continually
run at full capacity after capturing the rains from the 2010
rainy season.

31. (U) According the Ethiopia's Minister of Trade and
Industry, two other plants, Tana Beles and Gilgel Gibe II, are
nearly complete and will begin generating power by March 2010.
These, plus Tekeze, will have the combined potential to inject
1,000 megawatts of electricity into the grid and, according to
the Minister, will put an end to Ethiopia's black outs
beginning in 2010.

--------------
CLIMATE CHANGE
--------------
32. (U) Climate Change Teleconference Outreach: The Deputy
Special Envoy for Climate Change, Jonathan Pershing, conducted
a climate change outreach teleconference with U.S. ambassadors
throughout Africa on November 24, 2009. Discussions focused on
the status of the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations, the USG vision for
Copenhagen, the African position, and to encourage interaction
with high-level counterparts in the final weeks before
Copenhagen. Pershing circulated the latest White House
guidance and Talking Points after the call.

33. (U) The African Position on Climate Change: Leading up to
the COP-15 climate change meeting in Copenhagen, African
nations are ramping up efforts to define a cohesive,
continent-wide position on climate change. The intent is to
attend the conference with one voice, one delegation, and one
message that focuses on mitigation, adaptation, and technology

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 011.2 OF 012


transfer.

34. (U) One voice, one delegation, one message:
One voice: As Chair of the Conference of African Heads of
State and Governments on Climate Change (CAHOSCC, also
referred to as the AU Committee of 10), Ethiopian PM Meles was
named head of the African delegation in August 2009. One
delegation: Meles will represent just over 50 African nations
in his role as Head of Delegation in Copenhagen, Denmark,
December 7-18, 2009. One message: CAHOSCC is in the process of
strengthening and finalizing what amounts to the first AU-
sanctioned position on climate change. The African Union's
African Common Platform to Copenhagen from the May 2009
Algiers Declaration serves as the platform for the Common
African Position.

35. (U) Mitigation, adaptation, technology transfer:
Mitigation: Africa supports the position that polluter
countries must agree to cut emissions by 40% from 1990 levels
by 2020 (this echoes the call by "poorer" countries
worldwide). Adaptation: On November 17, 2009 in Addis, CAHOSCC
agreed on an adaptation sum to demand from the polluter
countries; an amount that will compensate for the impact of
climate change on the African continent. Although the
Committee of Ten announced that this figure is not to be
disclosed until negotiations begin in Copenhagen, the likely
range will be between $67-200 billion a year, beginning in
2020. Technology Transfer: Africa will request assistance in
catching up to the west in the form of technology transfers
accompanied by relaxed intellectual property rights.

36. (U) Africa's Expectations: PM Meles said on November 17th
that Africa wants a treaty to be agreed in Copenhagen but
could accept a 'binding political agreement' as a stepping
stone to a treaty being agreed upon at a later date. Meles
repeatedly stresses that the African position must be heard
and taken seriously in Copenhagen and he has stated he will
walk out of the negotiations if his delegation's views are
marginalized or dismissed. A temporary boycott of talks in
Barcelona in November 2009 was testament to the seriousness of
this threat, although UK colleagues in Addis Ababa that work
closely with the AU climate change team through ClimDev,
described the act as an advanced-warning, muscle-flexing
tactic in the lead up to Copenhagen; that it was orchestrated
to demonstrate both their weight and the extent to which they
are organized and prepared to act as a cohesive unit. In the
UK assessment, with the Barcelona temporary boycott behind
them, the Africa delegation will be prepared to seriously
engage in Copenhagen.

37. (U) Institute for Security Studies Think Tank Seminar on

ADDIS ABAB 00002843 012.2 OF 012


Climate Change and Africa: At a recent seminar on climate
change organized by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS)
in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, speakers articulated their
expectations in Copenhagen. EU representatives announced an
intent to cut emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by 2020 and
called upon others to do the same. The Director of the
Ethiopia Environment Protection Agency called upon rich
countries to "stop being cruel to Africa" and begin to be a
part of the solution by agreeing to robust mitigation
measures, generous adaptation sums without "strings attached,"
and technology transfers that bypass "unfair" intellectual
property rights. While he often referred to the need to work
together for the benefit of the planet, his intervention often
lapsed into an "us vs. them" diatribe, stating at times that
"we must beat them." The Director of an Ethiopian civil
society NGO and recent U.S. International Visitor Leadership
Program (IVLP) participant, Negusu Aklilu, spoke to the
audience in a more measured tone. Speaking out regarding the
U.S. obligation to take a leadership role in Copenhagen, he
focused on scientific reporting to highlight the relevancy of
a 40% carbon emission reduction figure. For more on his point
of view, visit the following site: http://www.addisfortune.
com/Vol%2010%20No%20492%20Archive/Viewpoint.h tm

38. (U) Public Affairs Section Outreach Event: The U.S.
Embassy Addis Ababa Public Affairs Section hosted a December
1, 2009 discussion with Negusu regarding his experience in the
U.S. under the IVLP. The Public Affairs section invited REO
to speak as well, giving me the opportunity to highlight our
office's objectives and activities to a room full of
university students, non-government organization (NGO)
activists, and other interested environmentalists. I also
took the opportunity to address some of Negusu's climate
change positions, noting that this is a global crisis that
demands a global solution with all parties working together in
partnership if we are to identify and achieve realistic and
practical resolutions in Copenhagen.

#MEECE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Euro-Med Monitor: Updated Report On The Israeli Massacres During The Military Attack On The Gaza Strip

Geneva – The Israeli forces has killed and maimed many Palestinians in deliberate targeting of unprotected homes with families inside in inhumane military operations, Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor said. Since the beginning of the current ... More>>

IPPPR: The Independent Panel Calls For Urgent Reform Of Pandemic Prevention And Response Systems

Expert independent panel calls for urgent reform of pandemic prevention and response systems The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response is today calling on the global community to end the COVID-19 pandemic and adopt a series of bold and ... More>>

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

ILO Voices: A Future With Hope, Free From Bonded Labour

By Padma Kumari Tamata Formerly in bonded labour, Padma Kumari Tamata is now a farmer, and grows and sells her own vegetables in the Kanchanpur district of Nepal. My name is Padma and I come from Vashi, a small hamlet in Nepal’s far-west Kanchanpur district. ... More>>

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>