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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10THEHAGUE54 2010-01-28 15:03 2010-12-03 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy The Hague
RR RUEHAG RUEHDH RUEHHM RUEHPB RUEHROV RUEHSL RUEHSR RUEHTRO
DE RUEHTC #0054/01 0281510
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 281510Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3707
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUEHTC/AMCONSUL AMSTERDAM 4301
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 000054
E.O. 12958 DECL: 01/27/2020
TAGS SENV, KGHG, ENRG, NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS: SUPPORT FOR COPENHAGEN ACCORD
REF: STATE 3080
Classified By: DCM Edwin Nolan for reasons 1.4 (b),(d)
¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY: The Netherlands will join the EU in inscribing a conditional emissions reduction target of 30 percent if others commit to comparable efforts. The Dutch had pushed to make the 30 percent offer unconditionally. Dutch climate officials are recalibrating their negotiating strategy after COP15 and putting greater emphasis on pragmatism. They have praised several facets of the Copenhagen Accord and are eager to make it operational. The Dutch are concerned that failure by donors to get fast-track financing flowing quickly will lead to more friction with developing countries later this year. END
AMBASSADOR DISCUSSES CLIMATE WITH ENVIRONMENT MINISTER
¶2. (SBU) Ambassador delivered reftel points January 13 during her initial call on Environment Minister Jacqueline Cramer. Cramer said the EU should inscribe its target as a single entity. She also emphasized the need for developed country pledges, taken as a whole, to add up to a convincing number for the developing world. She expressed concern that the January 31 annex would be insufficient because this bottom-up approach will not get to a 25 percent developed country commitment. She advocated a specific negotiating track led by the U.S. and others to determine how the developed world can come up with a convincing target. Cramer acknowledged this is a delicate process and offered Dutch help. Regarding the Dutch national goal, Cramer reiterated the Dutch government’s long-standing target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 30 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. (Note: Most domestic environmental and energy analysts consider this unachievable. End note.) Given this ambitious domestic goal, Cramer cautioned that Dutch government and industry were looking for comparable efforts and a level playing field with other EU member states and major global emitters.
NETHERLANDS JOINS UK IN PUSH FOR 30 PERCENT EU COMMITMENT
¶3. (C) EmbOffs reinforced reftel points January 25 with the Dutch Foreign Ministry climate negotiator Sanne Kaasjager. He said the Netherlands would join the EU in inscribing a conditional, collective target of 30 percent (the so-called “20/30” commitment, either/or). He described a “vicious” January 20 COREPER meeting where the UK’s and the Netherlands’ push for an unconditional 30 percent target (or at least “20-30” percent, leaving the option for a figure in between) met stiff resistance from Italy and Poland. The Netherlands will not inscribe its own national target — 30 percent by 2020 — for fear of distracting attention from the EU target and because its national commitment is a political rather than legal one.
ENTHUSIASM FOR COPENHAGEN ACCORD
¶4. (C) Kaasjager said the Netherlands considered the Copenhagen Accord a significant accomplishment. Specifically, he called the Accord a “breakthrough” for setting out political consensus around the 6 to 8 most contentious issues in climate negotiations. The Dutch were pleased the Accord reiterated the 2 degree Celsius objective. Kaasjager praised President Obama’s hands-on role in securing the Accord while sharply criticizing the “inept” Qsecuring the Accord while sharply criticizing the “inept” Danish performance as chair of COP15.
¶5. (SBU) The Dutch government is taking steps to convince developing countries to “associate with” the Accord. Kaasjager has drafted messages for embassies in capitals receiving Dutch development assistance to solicit support. This is an unprecedented move for the Dutch government, which traditionally recoils at any suggestion to use aid money as political leverage. But at the annual Dutch chiefs of mission conference in mid-January, ambassadors were clamoring for guidance on how to engage and persuade developing countries on climate negotiations. However, Kaasjager said the Netherlands would find it difficult to make association with the Accord a condition to receive climate financing.
EU INTROSPECTION AFTER COP15
¶6. (C) According to Kaasjager, the Copenhagen endgame has
THE HAGUE 00000054 002 OF 002
caused the EU to take a hard look at its role in climate talks. He was taken aback by the sight of European leaders (e.g., PM Brown and Chancellor Merkel) hovering around the VIP room sofas where the Chinese, Indian, South African, and Brazilian representatives were consulting, trying in vain to get pull asides with the BASIC leaders. Kaasjager took exception with the media’s portrayal of the EU’s exclusion from the final stages of the Copenhagen talks, but delivered a harsh verdict on the EU’s performance at COP15. He lamented the lack of Member State discipline and the failure to bring a “tactical plan” — meaning the EU was unprepared to adjust quickly to changing dynamics as the talks unfolded. He said his EU counterparts are coming around to the notion that Europe’s strategy must shift from “How to involve the U.S.?” to “How to involve China?”
PATH FORWARD FOR CLIMATE TALKS
¶7. (SBU) In a word, Kaasjager said what emerged from Copenhagen was “pragmatism.” More than ever, Dutch climate officials appreciate that climate negotiations will be an incremental “process of small steps.” They are still deliberating on what the right long-term negotiating track is going forward: bilateral cooperation between major emitters; coalitions of the willing (such as the Major Economies Forum, G20, or Greenland Dialogue); or the legalistic UN process. The Dutch think a bottom-up bilateral approach will not achieve enough emissions reductions. They worry about exclusion from MEF and G20 fora. And they are currently disenchanted with the top-down UN process vulnerable to spoiler countries. Kaasjager said the Netherlands will work to forge a middle road that is achievable and inclusive. In the near-term the Dutch are eager to use the next several months to make the Copenhagen Accord operational and bring its elements to the formal negotiating table in Bonn in June.
FAST-TRACK FINANCING PIVOTAL
¶8. (SBU) Kaasjager was particularly concerned about bottlenecks in the flow of fast-track financing envisioned in the Copenhagen Accord. Without serious effort by donor countries, he predicted a worst case scenario in which G77 members use the late 2010 Cancun meeting to accuse the developed world of failing to follow through on its fast-track financing promises. He identified three potential areas of friction with developing countries on financing: most of the pledged funding is not “additional”; it is skewed towards mitigation programs rather than adaptation; and much of it is already committed without much say from recipients. Kaasjager has circulated a proposal for donor country counterparts to meet informally at working levels with recipients countries to address these issues head-on rather than wait for them to surface as a PR disaster later.