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Cablegate: Estonia On Cop-15: Skeptical About Chances for Success

VZCZCXYZ0005
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHTL #0396/01 3411119
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 071118Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0273
INFO EU INTEREST COLLECTIVE
RUEHCP/AMEMBASSY COPENHAGEN 0007
RUEHTL/AMEMBASSY TALLINN

UNCLAS TALLINN 000396

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
COPENHAGEN FOR ESTH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KGHG PREL EN
SUBJECT: ESTONIA ON COP-15: SKEPTICAL ABOUT CHANCES FOR SUCCESS

REF: TALLINN 301

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: On December 3, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(MFA) briefed the diplomatic corps on the upcoming Copenhagen
climate conference and the current state of climate negotiations.
The presenters confirmed the GOE's priority for the conference is
to reach an "ambitious and binding agreement," but also revealed
the GOE's skepticism regarding the chances for success in
Copenhagen. The presenters' statements also highlighted concerns
about a lack of ambition from the U.S. and the effect this will
have going forward. END SUMMARY.

---------------------------

COP-15 POSITIONS UNCHANGED...

---------------------------

2. (U) On December 3, the MFA hosted a briefing for the diplomatic
community on the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference and the
current state of climate negotiations. Short presentations were
made by Andre Lipand, from the Energy and Environment Division of
the MFA, Keit Parts, of the European Union Department of the MFA,
Karin Radiko, Chief Specialist in the Air Quality and Radioactivity
Bureau of the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), and Kasper
Kivisoo, Counselor on Energy and Climate Policy, European Union
Secretariat of the State Chancellery. Also in attendance were
Allan Gromov, Deputy Secretary General of the MOE, and Mati Murd,
Director of the Energy and Environment Division of the MFA.

3. (U) Presenters gave a brief overview of climate change in
general terms, the course of negotiations prior to COP-15, the role
of the EU and the positions the Government of Estonia (GOE) will
support in Copenhagen (see also reftel). Kivisoo summarized GOE's
priorities as:

--a binding and ambitious agreement;

--market-based instruments to finance climate change assistance to
less developed countries; and,

--a transparent institutional framework to verify countries are
honoring their emissions reduction commitments.

-------------------------------------

...BUT GOE MORE SKEPTICAL ABOUT SUCCESS

-------------------------------------

4. (U) Speakers made clear that the GOE is "always ready to
negotiate" but nevertheless left the clear impression that Estonia
does not expect COP-15 to result in a binding global agreement. As
a fallback (short of an agreement), Estonia supports a firm
political commitment with a deadline for completing a strong
legally binding agreement. Additionally, the MFA's Keit Parts
stated it would take a "miracle" now for the EU to increase their
emissions cuts to 30 percent by 2020 (instead of the current plan
of 20 percent by 2020) - a goal that seemed possible to reach this
summer.

5. (U) Estonian experts also expressed concerns about the EU's
consolidated negotiating position. Allan Gromov, Deputy
Under-Secretary of the MOE and the primary climate change
negotiator, noted that the new EU member states trust the
leadership of the European Council more than they do the older
member-states. This is particularly the case on the financing
scheme for assistance to developing countries. The same concern was

echoed during a private discussion with Kivisoo, who stated the old
member states push their own agendas, including focusing assistance
on their former colonies, which has complicated the EU internal
negotiations on climate change.

----------------------------------------

THE U.S. AND CHINA: "BIG, SLOW MAMMOTHS"

----------------------------------------

6. (U) American leadership on climate change was contrasted
(unfavorably) with that of the EU, although there was sympathy for
the U.S. position. Radiko acknowledged U.S. negotiators were "in
a tough spot" since they had not received political backing from
Congress. She relayed concerns, however, that "if the U.S. is not
ambitious in Copenhagen, then China will not be either, and this
will create a domino effect." Lipand began the briefing by noting
humorously that while most Americans thought China was the source
of the climate change problem, in fact, it was America. Finally,
Kivisoo likened the U.S. and China to "big, slow mammoths" moving
at their own pace. He contrasted that with the EU, which he said is
moving swiftly and trying to lead other countries in the right
direction.

--------

COMMENT

--------

7. (SBU) The GOE is sending a large delegation (approximately 21
people) led by the Prime Minister to Copenhagen, but most will be
attending for only a day or two. The PM is likely going to
demonstrate Estonia's commitment to the process, and thus deflect
criticism from Estonia - the EU's largest per capita greenhouse gas
emitter. The size of the delegation, in these tough budgetary
times, shows the GOE takes its international reputation seriously.
However, the GOE's permanent delegation at the conference is being
led by a junior official, showing Estonia has low expectations.
DECKER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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