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Cablegate: Post Gets Clarification of Sweden´S Post Cop-15 Public

Published: Mon 28 Dec 2009 06:15 AM
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TAGS: SENV KGHG PREL PGOV ENRG SW
SUBJECT: Post Gets Clarification of Sweden´s Post COP-15 Public
Statements: Real Problem is China
REF: STOCKHOLM 791
1. (SBU) Summary: Charge called Prime Minister Reinfeldt´s climate
change advisor Lars Erik Liljelund to discuss recent public
criticism of the United States by Sweden´s Environment Minister
Andreas Carlgren. Liljelund agreed it was wrong to criticize U.S.
efforts at Copenhagen, noting that the need was for a strategy to
bring China into serious discussions. He said China had been
"powerful" at COP-15, as well as very "frank and direct that it was
not interested in any type of climate change commitment." Liljelund
told Charge he would follow up with Carlgren in the New Year, as he
had done in August. End Summary
Sweden´s Environment Minister Criticizes the U.S.
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2. (U) Per reftel, the Swedish media was generally positive toward
President Obama´s efforts at COP-15, although the U.S. was
criticized for not having any new mitigation targets to put on the
table. The Swedish media reserved much of their criticism for the
EU, which they said was left on the sidelines as the U.S. and China
took over the negotiations.
3. (U) Sweden´s Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren responded to
such criticism during the last significant event of Sweden´s six
month EU Presidency, the December 22 meeting of EU Environment
Ministers held in Brussels. After chairing the meeting, he told a
press conference that the EU ministers placed a lot of the blame for
the failure on the inability of the world´s two biggest emitters,
the United States and China, to agree at the climate summit. He said
COP-15 was a "great failure" and "It was obvious that the United
States and China didn´t want more than we achieved at Copenhagen.
As he arrived for the Brussels meeting, Carlgren had told the press
that the COP-15 outcome "was mostly for the big ones, for the US and
for China and their followers" agreeing on "the lowest common
denominator."
4. (U) While Carlgren did criticize China as well as the United
States, he repeated his near-constant mantra on the need to pressure
the U.S. to do more on climate change. At the post-Ministerial
press conference, Carlgren said the pressure is now on the United
States, and "We should be able to expect them to deliver something
concrete later this spring." Carlgren was joined in criticizing the
U.S. by Spain´s Environment Minister Teresa Ribera who was quoted in
the Swedish press as calling on President Obama "to live up to" his
claim for a key role on climate by "presenting concrete numbers"
adding that "we cannot give up, we must fight for what we sadly
enough did not achieve in Copenhagen."
5. (U) While some EU member countries have suggested imposing a
carbon tax on recalcitrant emitters, Carlgren told the press that
"This is not the time for that. We must strive for a global
agreement and then we should avoid too much sable-rattling."
Prime Minister´s Climate Change Advisor Recommends a Strategy to Get
China to Commit
------ ----- ---- --------- ----- ----- ----- ------
6. (SBU) On December 23, Charge called Prime Minister Frederik
Reinfeldt´s Senior Advisor on Climate Change
Lars-Erik Liljelund to see whether Carlgren´s criticism reflected
the Swedish government view. Liljelund had not seen Carlgren´s
remarks, but agreed that it was not right to criticize the United
States. He said he had been in meetings with the EU at COP-15 were
China "showed how powerful it is." As an example, he recounted how
when German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked China´s Vice Foreign
Minister whether China could at least say China would reduce
emissions, the Vice Foreign Minister´s response was simply, "No."
Liljelund also attended a meeting where he witnessed an "open
dispute" between China and the G-77.
7. (SBU) Liljelund said that the US and EU both have the same
problem: China was "really polite" during COP-15, but also "very
frank and direct that they were not interested in any type of
climate change commitment." Liljelund concluded that the US and EU
need a "joint strategy to bring China in."
8. (SBU) Liljelund reminded the Charge that in August after
Carlgren´s public criticism of the United States following EU
meetings in Washington, Liljelund had talked with Carlgren to reign
him in. He promised to follow up with Carlgren after the New Year.
SILVERMAN
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