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Cablegate: Brazil: U/S Machado On Gob's Climate Position Going Into

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DE RUEHBR #1402/01 3381107
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 041105Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRASILIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 0007
INFO ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RHEHNSC/WHITE HOUSE NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRG/AMCONSUL RECIFE 0005
RUEHRI/AMCONSUL RIO DE JANEIRO
RUEHSO/AMCONSUL SAO PAULO

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 BRASILIA 001402

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KGHG EFIN EAGR EAID BR
SUBJECT: BRAZIL: U/S MACHADO ON GOB'S CLIMATE POSITION GOING INTO
COPENHAGEN - A POSITIVE FORCE

REF: 09 BRASILIA 1136

(U) THIS CABLE IS SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED AND NOT FOR INTERNET
DISTRIBUTION.

1. (SBU) SUMMARY. Brazilian Ministry of External Relations Under
Secretary for Policy Vera Machado and her deputy, Special
Ambassador for Climate Change Sergio Serra, told Charge that Brazil
is more optimistic about the outcome for the Conference of the
Parties-15 (COP-15) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC) in Copenhagen than they were a month ago. In the
last 18 months, Brazil has moved from often being an impediment to
being a positive force in many areas of the negotiations, most
notably with its recent announcement of an ambitious (36% to 39%)
economy-wide reduction in emissions by 2020 compared with business
as usual. Brazil openly seeks to play a "bridging" role between
the developed countries and the developing ones. The GOB sees the
U.S. proposal on mitigation actions and that of the Chinese as
contributing to an improvement in the prospects for success at
COP-15. The two critical outstanding issues in their view are (1)
the need for substantial increase in financing and (2) maintaining
the architecture set forth in the Bali Roadmap, which has two
tracks, one for Annex I countries under the Kyoto Protocol and
another for developing countries under the UNFCCC. END SUMMARY

2. (SBU) On December 2, Charge d'Affaires, a.i. Lisa Kubiske met
with Brazilian Ministry of External Relations Under Secretary for
Policy Vera Machado to discuss the Government of Brazil's (GOB)
position going into Copenhagen UNFCCC COP-15. Machado was
accompanied by two of her deputies: Special Ambassador for Climate
Change Sergio Serra, and Director of the North America Division
Carlos Abreu. Science Counselor joined the Charge.

3. (SBU) While Machado was pleased that President Obama would be
going to Copenhagen on

December 9, she regretted that there would be no overlap with
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva or many other foreign
leaders, who would be coming later during the conference. She
indicated that Obama's presence when other leaders were there the
second week would have helped them come to agreement. She added
that Brazilian public opinion has been a positive factor in
developing Brazil's position. Charge asked about Brazil's views on
the U.S. position on mitigation, noting that it was a pathway for
deep cuts and well before 2050, such as 30 percent reduction below
2005 levels in 2025 and a 42 percent reduction in 2030. Machado
demurred, saying that they were going to talk to President Lula
next week. However, Serra was more upbeat. He said that in light
of the positions announced by the United States and China and
Brazil he was more optimistic about COP-15 than he had been a month
ago. Machado and Serra were accepting of having a political
agreement at Copenhagen, rather than a legal agreement.

4. (SBU) Now that there is movement on mitigation, Serra opined
that one of the most critical issue for Copenhagen will be fleshing
out financial support. He thought that without concrete numbers on
financing there would be little chance for progress.

THE BASIC GROUP - MAINTAIN BALI ARCHITECTURE

5. (SBU) Serra discussed the November 26-27 meeting in China of
the BASIC group (Brazil, South Africa, India, and China). He
highlighted that the BASIC group was focused on architecture
issues. They wanted to see implementation of the Bali Roadmap with
its two track approach. Annex I countries would sign up for a new
round of binding emissions reductions obligations - and the United
States too - and the developing countries would agree to
non-binding Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs).

BRASILIA 00001402 002 OF 003


6. (SBU) Neither Machado nor Serra had seen the latest draft of a
BASIC group statement, though they commented that there probably
would be one prepared and released. They did not treat a joint
statement as a major matter for Brazil. Further, they laughed at
the prospect of India walking out. Serra assured the Charge that
based on a report he had heard from India that they would not do
so. Machado joked that Brazil would be there to keep them from
leaving the building.

INTERNATIONAL VERIFICATION - FINE WITH BRAZIL

7. (SBU) Serra told Charge that Brazil accepts the idea of
international verification of mitigation actions, even if those
actions are taken without international support. He noted that
Minister of Exterior Relations Celso Amorim had already declared
that Brazil is ready for peer review of Brazil's mitigation
actions. Serra said that this peer review was consistent with
monitoring in other international fora, such as with respect to
human rights. Nonetheless, Serra emphasized that Brazil's position
was not shared by some other developing countries. These others
countries were putting up a strong resistance to international
verification for unsupported mitigation actions. COMMENT. While
Brazil is willing to accept international verification, it appears
that it also can go along without it too and that it isn't
currently inclined to press hard either way. END COMMENT.

PEAK YEAR CONCEPT - 2020 IS TOO EARLY

8. (SBU) When asked about the use of the peak year concept, Serra
responded that Brazil viewed 2020 as being too soon to be used as a
peak year for developing countries. He appeared less concerned
about establishing a peak year later on.

CAP ON THE USE OF OFFSETS - REMAINS UNCLEAR

9. (SBU) Serra said that Brazil - meaning his Ministry of External
Relations - would like to have a cap on offsets because it wanted
Annex I countries to make most of their emissions reductions in
their own countries. He said that Brazil could envision allowing
some use of offsets for forest conservation, as a part of a package
of financing for forest conservation. In such case, Brazil would
like to see the majority of the funds come from public financing
and other sources, and only a smaller portion from offsets. Serra
acknowledged that his Ministry's view was not universally accepted
within Brazil. Machado pointed out that there was substantial
pushback within Brazil to this position, especially from the
governors in the Amazon region who want to tap the funding possible
from allowing forest offsets. For now, the idea of imposing a
ceiling or cap on offsets is something that the Ministry of
External Relations favors, but which has not been agreed to by the
rest of the government, much less by other countries with forests.

BRAZILIAN PARTICIPANTS GOING TO COPENHAGEN

10. (SBU) Head of the Presidency, Minister Dilma Rousseff, will
head the Brazilian delegation to Copenhagen. President Lula will
attend the second week of the conference during the high-level
session. Minister of the Environment Carlos Minc will be there
throughout with his team, including Director of the Climate Change
Secretariat Suzanna Kahn and special advisor Tasso Azevedo. The
Ministry of External Relations is sending Minister Celso Amorim,
Director of the Environment Department Luiz Figueiredo Machado, and
Ambassador Serra. Under Secretary Vera Machado was not sure if she
would attend and, if she did, she said it would be just for a short
period during the high-level session. It is likely that Minister
of Science and Technology Sergio Rezende will attend some of the
conference, and Minister of Mines and Energy Edson Lobao might go

BRASILIA 00001402 003 OF 003


too. The governors from various Amazon states will be bringing
large delegations to Copenhagen, including Governor Eduardo Braga
from the State of Amazonas (who is seeking meetings with both
President Obama and Todd Stern) and Governor Blairo Maggi from the
State of Mato Grosso.

COMMENT

11. (SBU) Brazil has come a long way in the last 18-months and
mostly in the right direction. Back then, the GOB was on the
defensive due to a jump in its already high rate of Amazon
deforestation. The GOB concentrated much of its effort on pursuing
a restrictive view of the "common, but differentiated
responsibilities principle," i.e., Annex I countries must take on
obligations for further reductions and for providing financial
assistance to developing countries, while Brazil, India, China and
other developing countries had nothing more to do than report on
their emissions. Also back then, senior GOB officials told USG
counterparts that the GOB could not see itself - or other
developing countries - agreeing to economy-wide or sectoral
emissions reductions targets even though they were not legally
binding. Further, the GOB adamantly opposed offsets and credits
for forests.

12. (SBU) Today, the GOB seems confident of its position going
into Copenhagen and wants to play a leadership role or more
precisely, play a "bridging" role between the developed countries
and the G-77. Brazil is proud that this year it has lowered the
Amazon deforestation rate by around 40 percent compared with last
year, to a record low level in the last two decades. The GOB is
bringing to the table in Copenhagen one of the most ambitious
mitigation proposals among developing countries, and this proposal
includes an economy-wide reduction target. Despite reluctance from
the Ministry of External Relations, the GOB is now willing to
accept the use of offsets to conserve forests.

13. (SBU) The GOB leadership is investing significant political
capital in making Copenhagen a success, including having President
Lula trying to call President Obama and other world leaders to urge
their personal participation, and going there himself. Lula and
his team have been active in trying to produce a positive outcome
at COP-15, meeting numerous times with French President Sarkozy,
other European leaders, leaders from Amazon countries, and key
officials from China, India and South Africa. Of course, the GOB
from Lula, to Rousseff, to their senior officials frequently have
met and discussed climate change with their U.S. counterparts.
Rousseff is a candidate for president in 2010. Her role as head of
the GOB delegation means she could become linked to the outcome
from Copenhagen - good or bad -in the eyes of Brazilian
environmentalists. Also, ex-Environment Minister Marina Silva has
indicated she is planning to enter into the presidential race.
This makes environment a more prominent issue in the contest and
makes it more important for Rousseff, a former Energy Minister, to
burnish her environmental bona fides.

14. (SBU) Now, Brazil appears to view the U.S. position, as well
as that of China's, as contributing to the prospects for success at
COP-15. For Brazil, the questions of financing and of the
architecture of the agreement - i.e., whether Kyoto Protocol
continues as it has been or is modified - will be the dominant
issues to be addressed in the two weeks in Copenhagen. In short,
Brazil in the last 18-months has transitioned from often being an
obstacle to a good conclusion at COP-15, to being either not an
obstacle or, in many key ways, a positive force for success. END
COMMENT.

KUBISKE
KUBISKE

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