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Cablegate: Rgc Will Associate with Copenhagen Accord But

VZCZCXRO7738
RR RUEHAST RUEHCHI RUEHDH RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHNH RUEHPB
RUEHPOD RUEHSL RUEHTRO
DE RUEHPF #0065 0260643
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 260643Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1618
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS PHNOM PENH 000065

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR SECC, EAP/MLS, AND OES/PCI/SMIRZA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV KGHA ENRG CB
SUBJECT: RGC WILL ASSOCIATE WITH COPENHAGEN ACCORD BUT
WANTS TO SEE COMMITMENTS FIRST

REF: STATE 3080

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

1. (SBU) The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC) has no
objections to associating with the Copenhagen Accord in
principle but wants to see concrete commitments from
developed and major developing countries before taking
action. DCM delivered Reftel talking points to Ouch Borith,
Secretary of State at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and
International Cooperation (MFA), urging the RGC to associate
itself with the Accord by January 31. Ouch, who was part of
the Cambodian delegation, said that he and his Minister were
disappointed by both the process in Copenhagen and the lack
of substance in the Accord. Ouch said he appreciated
President Obama's personal involvement in the later stages of
the conference, but regretted that the Accord did not include
binding emissions reduction commitments and definitions of
the assistance mechanisms for developing countries. The
viability of the Accord, Ouch argued, depended directly on
commitments from developed and major developing countries.

2. (SBU) Ministry of Environment (MOE) officials echoed Ouch
Borith's comments in conversations with ESTHOff. Officials
at the MOE's Climate Change Office (CCO) similarly praised
U.S. leadership at Copenhagen, with one even saying that
President Obama had "saved" the negotiations. CCO officials
had strong concerns though about the effectiveness of the UN
process after the negotiations, saying that the Accord was
realistic given the number of divergent views presented at
the conference, but that it lacked teeth. However, despite
these concerns the MOE has submitted an analysis of the
Accord to the MFA recommending that Cambodia join. The head
of the CCO doubted, however, that the RGC would make a
decision by January 31 and noted that the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat's
notification to the RGC had described the 31st as a soft
deadline.

3. (SBU) COMMENT: Post expects that the RGC will eventually
associate itself with the Accord; as a least developed
country, Cambodia will not jeopardize its chances at
accessing pledged assistance for issues like adaptation and
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation
(REDD) projects. But Cambodia was clearly affected by the
negotiation process in Copenhagen, and wants to see that
larger players are taking the Accord seriously before
committing to do the same.


RODLEY

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