Cablegate: Copenhagen Climate Summit: Colombian Delegation, Priorities,
DE RUEHBO #3511/01 3412003
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 072003Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BOGOTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1476
INFO RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0019
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0004
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
UNCLAS BOGOTA 003511
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAID ECON ENRG PGOV PREL UN CO
SUBJECT: Copenhagen Climate Summit: Colombian Delegation, Priorities,
REF: A) WHA/EPSC COLON 12/1 EMAIL; B) BOGOTA 3489; C) BOGOTA 3303
1. (U) Summary. At the Copenhagen Climate Change conference,
Environment Minister Carlos Costa will lead the Colombian
delegation, which includes the Vice Minister of Multilateral
Affairs, Director of IDEAM (a NOAA-like institution), and other
advisors. Per reftels, Colombia will continue to be a strong ally
within the G-77 seeking to reach a political agreement at
Copenhagen. Costa would like the United States to take a more
"public" stance on its climate change commitments, and proposes the
U.S. announce either a U.S.-Colombia forest preservation project or
joint scientific research on carbon sequestration in the Andean
highlands. The GOC will not commit to a specific emissions goal,
but calls for developed nations to do so. Colombia wants to be
considered a country vulnerable to climate change, and will push
for the establishment of a fund for mitigation and adaptation
projects for non-developed countries. End Summary.
2. (SBU) Per reftel A, the following Colombian delegates are
traveling to Copenhagen:
Carlos Costa, Minister of Environment; Adriana Mejia, Environment
Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs; Yadir Salazar, MFA Director
of Economic, Social and Environmental Affairs; Ricardo Lozano,
Director of IDEAM (Instituto de Hidrologia, Meteorologia y Estudios
Ambientales); and Advisors from IDEAM and the Ministries of
Environment, Foreign Relations, Interior, Justice, and Commerce,
Industry, and Tourism.
3. (SBU) Forestry an Important Theme. Minister Costa confirmed to
the DCM that Colombia will be an ally at Copenhagen on issues of
monitoring, verification and public disclosure of initiatives (ref
B). Preservation of forests also will be a key issue for Colombia
at Copenhagen, due to its large tropical forests and its potential
to be a market for carbon offsets or REDD program participant.
Costa urged that the United States announce publicly a joint
forest-preservation project in one or more of Colombia's national
parks. He also offered the idea of announcing a joint scientific
research on carbon sequestration in the highland paramos.
4. (U) Finance and Technology. Colombia supports the establishment
of finance mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation, specifically a
US$140 billion per year fund for non-developed countries. The GOC
also has made it clear that it considers Colombia a country highly
vulnerable to climate change, and as such, hopes to be a recipient
of funds for technology. Colombia is generally supportive of U.S.
views on intellectual property rights, but places high importance
on access to technology for adaptation and mitigation initiatives.
5. (U) Legal Agreement by mid-2010. GOC officials have expressed
disappointment at the likely failure to reach a legally binding
agreement at Copenhagen, but still want to be a pragmatic partner
in achieving a strong political agreement at the climate change
summit. The MFA publicly announced Colombia's support for the
Danish-American proposal for a political compromise in a press
release on December 2. To preserve Copenhagen's momentum, the GOC
plans to press for a second meeting to reach a legally-binding
agreement during the first six months of 2010. Andrea Garcia,
Climate Change Office Director at the Ministry of Environment,
emphasized the importance to conclude a binding agreement before
several Latin American elections in mid-2010, as changes in
negotiators and ministers will disrupt the negotiating process.
6. (U) Press Focused on U.S. and China. Moderate press coverage of
climate change issues has increased in frequency as the Copenhagen
summit nears. Opinion pieces in El Tiempo and Cambio magazine's
online site have proclaimed that Copenhagen's outcome depends
squarely on emissions reduction commitments by China and the United
States, which it notes are not sufficient, but better than nothing.
Most news articles and opinion pieces have echoed officials'
statements that Colombia is not a contributor to climate change,
but a victim of it.