UNCLAS LONDON 002873
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON, SENV, UK, KGHG
SUBJECT: POST COP-15 PRESS BRIEFING BY UK ENERGY SECRETARY
(U) Summary: Ed Miliband, UK Secretary for Energy and
Climate Change, briefed the diplomatic corps, press and
environmental NGOs on December 21, on results of the
Copenhagen Conference (COP-15). Prime Minister Gordon Brown
joined by satellite from Scotland. Together they focused on
three key points: (1) the UK should persuade other countries,
notably the US, China, and other European countries, to agree
to more ambitious carbon emissions reduction targets; (2) the
UK and other countries should work toward a legally binding
international treaty that would, among other things, set up a
transparent mechanism to evaluate all countries' progress;
(3) the decision-making process in the Copenhagen talks
should be streamlined to allow the 192 countries to find
common ground on substantive issues. End Summary.
(U) PM Brown told the group that although it was
disappointing not to achieve an international legally binding
climate change treaty, the UK would continue to press for it.
The main outcome of COP-15 is the agreement to limit the
increase in global warming to 2 degrees Celsius. Brown
outlined steps that need to be taken next. First, by January
31, 2010, all countries should submit their emissions
targets. Second, other countries should be persuaded to set
higher range emission reduction targets to reduce overall
carbon production from 55 gigatons to 40 gigatons by 2020.
Brown also said developing countries, such as Bangladesh and
Maldives, should receive climate change mitigation funding as
part of the USD 30B pledge from developed countries over the
next three years. Third, "barely a handful of countries"
oppose a legally binding treaty and the best time to move
forward with talks is at the next climate change conference
in Bonn, Germany in six months hosted by Chancellor Merkel.
Lastly, Brown complained there is no vehicle in the UN
decision-making process for countries to find common ground
or bridge the differences.
(U) Miliband's remarks focused on steps the UK must
continue domestically. He claimed the British government is
taking action, but needed to "re-win" the case, and he
explained the UK will benefit economically in being at the
forefront. Miliband said the UN is central to the process,
although he expressed frustration that too much time was
spent arguing over procedural issues rather than on the more
important substantive ones. Miliband noted that important
movements in history were never successful on the first
attempt and that COP-15 had generated an "irreversible shift"
toward addressing climate change. Miliband specifically
mentioned the U.S. when stating that many countries still
need domestic climate change campaigns to build more support
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