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08LJUBLJANA74 2008-02-15 13:35:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Ljubljana
Cable title:  

SLOVENIA PROPOSES SEMINAR TO BRING DEVELOPING

Tags:   SENV ENRG TSPL KSCA KGHG EUN SI 
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1. (SBU) On February 15, Emboff met with Andrej Kranjc,
Undersecretary for International Relations at the Slovenian
Ministry of the Environment to discuss Slovenia's
preparations for the 18-19 February climate change meeting in
Brussels between CEQ and France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia,
the UK, and the European Commission in the framework of the
Major Economies Meetings (MEM). (Note: Kranjc led the EU
presidency/Slovenia delegation at the MEM meeting in Honolulu
in late January and will attend the MEM climate change
meeting in Brussels on behalf of the EU presidency. End
note.) Kranjc discussed the European reaction to the Major
Economies process that he observed in Honolulu and at the
UNGA thematic debate on climate change in early February.
Although Kranjc said that there is still a great deal of
skepticism within the EU on the intentions of the United
States with regard to the Major Economies process, he noted
that all participants he spoke to at MEM in Honolulu found
the meeting worthwhile. Kranjc said that he agreed with the
United States on the need to bring developing countries into
the climate change debate, but he added that developing
nations should not be held to the same standard as developed
countries. Kranjc said that Slovenia, in its role as
president of the Council of the European Union, would like to
host a seminar to bring developing countries and EU member
states together to discuss climate change issues. End
Summary.

Europeans Still on the Fence about the MEM Process


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2. (SBU) Kranjc characterized the late-January MEM meeting in
Honolulu as highly constructive but noted that many EU member
states--and other third party countries--still hold serious
reservations about the process. The primary concern, which
Kranjc commented by this point should be of no surprise to
the US, is that the MEM process would interfere with existing
climate change processes, particularly the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Another
concern held by the Europeans, according to Kranjc, is that
the MEM process does not have a concrete end goal. Kranjc
thought that there should be more discussion on what exactly
can be achieved within the MEM framework. He believes that
the Unites States has done a good job outlining the long-term
goals for MEM, but he says the US must indentify mid-term
targets and goals for the period leading up to 2020. Kranjc,
who just returned from the UNGA thematic discussion on
climate change, said that there was little discussion of MEM
there.

Slovenia Seeking to Bring Developing Countries into the
Climate Change Debate


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3. (SBU) Kranjc said that Slovenia agrees with the Untied
States on the need to draw developing nations--particuarly
India and China--into the climate change debate and added
that Slovenia would like to promote this effort during its EU
presidency. (Note: Slovenia has identified the discussion of
climate change issues as a top priority for its EU
presidency. End Note.) Kranjc said that Slovenia is laying
the groundwork for a seminar that would bring developing
countries and the EU together to discuss climate change
issues. He envisions that the seminar would be held in
Ljubljana and ideally take place before the UNFCCC meeting in
Bangkok scheduled for March 31-April 4. He acknoweledged,
however, that it would more likely take place sometime in the
month of April. Kranjc has been in contact with EU officials
on the matter and reached out to several representatives from
developing countries at the UNGA thematic debate to gauge
their interest in the idea. He emphasized that the seminar
would be for European Union member states and developing
countries; as such, the United States would not be invited as
a delegate. Kranjc acknowledged that the lack of invitation
might discomfort the United States. He explained that even
though the US would not be able to participate in the
symposium, he looks forward to discussing the issue of third
party involvement with US interlocuters at the MEM climate
change meeting in Brussels on 19 February.

Kranjc Worried about Calls for Environmental Minister's
Resignation


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4. (SBU) Emboff brought up recent press reporting on the
Slovenian Court of Audit's efforts to dismiss Environmental
Minister Janez Podobnik. Kranjc gave an exasperated sigh and
said that he could not comment on the matter, but that he
hoped it would not distract the Environmental Ministry from
its presidency obligations.

Comment


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5. (SBU) Slovenia is in full agreement with us on the need to
bring developing countries into the climate change debate,
which presents an opportunity for us to work cooperatively
with Slovenia toward promoting this objective during the
latter's EU presidency. Despite the fact that Slovenia is a
small country with limited resources, it can establish
priorities in its role as EU president and set the time
schedule for their discussion. Slovenia's efforts to raise
awareness within the EU on the need to incorporate developing
counties into the climate change debate might be a step in
the right direction.
COLEMAN