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Cablegate: Ambassador's Conversation with Spanish Climate

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OO RUEHIK
DE RUEHMD #0068/01 0221607
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O 221607Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY MADRID
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 1723
INFO RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA 0027
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA 0007
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES 0001
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS 0012
RUEHGT/AMEMBASSY GUATEMALA 1451
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ 0001
RUEHME/AMEMBASSY MEXICO 0006
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO 0001
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE 0001
RUEHSN/AMEMBASSY SAN SALVADOR 0001
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO 0527
RUEHUB/USINT HAVANA 0302

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 MADRID 000068

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR OES/ECG DREW NELSON AND KATE LARSEN, S/SECC
RACHEL KASTENBERG,
STATE PASS EPA FOR ADMINISTRATOR JACKSON,
EMBASSIES FOR ESTH OFFICERS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV ENRG SP KGHG
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR'S CONVERSATION WITH SPANISH CLIMATE
CHANGE NEGOTIATOR

REF: A. STATE: 3080
B. MADRID 31

MADRID 00000068 001.2 OF 002

1. (SBU) Summary. The Ambassador discussed follow-up to the
Copenhagen Accord with Secretary of State for Climate Change
Teresa Ribera on January 21. The discussion focused on
Spain's outreach efforts in Latin America, particularly to
counter efforts by Venezuela, Bolivia and Cuba to discredit
the Accord to discourage others from associating. Ribera,
Spain's senior climate change negotiator, said most Latin
America countries are likely to associate with the Accord but
few are likely to inscribe mitigation actions. She said it
would be helpful for the USG to talk to El Salvador and
Guatemala about the benefits that association could bring.
She also noted that engagement with China and India has been
challenging. Ribera will be in Washington January 25-26.
End Summary.

Countering "Naysayers" in Latin America
---------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Ribera said Spain is stressing the transparency
and legitimacy of the Accord process to confront efforts by
Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Cuba to discredit
it. She suggested that Venezuela's position, deeply rooted
in opposition to the U.S., was unlikely to change. Bolivia,
which had meaningfully contributed to climate change
discussions two years ago, had moved closer to Venezuela's
position and could not be expected to change. Ribera added
that of the "naysayers" Nicaragua and Ecuador had the
potential to be less obstructive. She also said that Cuba
wanted real action on climate change and has productively
participated in past climate change discussions --
particularly as an interlocutor with Venezuela. Despite Cuba
feeling sidelined by the Accord process and being
economically beholden to Venezuela, Ribera suggested that it
has the potential to return to a more constructive role.

3. (SBU) While noting that pressure from the naysayers was
getting to some Latin American countries, Ribera said most
were likely to associate with the Accord by January 31.
Spain is delicately engaging with countries it views as
likely to associate -- such as Argentina, Uruguay and El
Salvador -- but which might still waver. She added that it
could be helpful for the USG to talk to El Salvador and
Guatemala about the benefits that association could bring.
Ribera emphasized that Brazil's Lula was playing a key role
as a bridge to much of the region although this irritated
Cuba. Still, she cautioned that few countries will inscribe
to mitigation actions. Those that do commit to mitigation
actions, potentially including Mexico, Colombia, Costa Rica
and Chile, will probably do so past the deadline.

China and India
---------------

4. (SBU) Ribera said that China and India have given
contradictory messages, and China has been skittish about
engaging in substantive climate change discussions with the
EU or individual European countries. While Ribera felt it
unlikely that China or India would make substantive
commitments before the Delhi meeting later this month, she
still thinks it is important to keep the pressure on China
and India to be "mature players on the international stage."

Off to Washington
-----------------

5. (SBU) The Ambassador thanked Ribera for her efforts and
expressed confidence that she would have productive meetings
in Washington with Special Envoy for Climate Change Todd
Stern and Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa

MADRID 00000068 002.2 OF 002


Jackson on January 25-26.
SOLOMONT

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