Inside the US-China Paris climate accord negotiations. Podesta uses personal account to email with State Dept
Date: 2015-03-27 15:37
Subject: Re: China
Yep. First, and an important thing. After a lot of reflection and back and forth with Brian, we decided to include our „best efforts“ language right in the INDC itself — i.e., the line that states our target rather than in the accompanying cover letter/statement. This exposes us as a matter of domestic politics (tho not internationally) if China then fails to do the same. Sue also has a legal form concern, but it is manageable. Brian’s view, which I share, is we don’t want to give any impression of taking foot off the gas.

So — helpful for you to make clear to Chinese that the „best efforts“ language for both of us was quite integral to JA, that we’re including ours in our INDC (which will roll out in first quarter — ie, 30t1st) and expect them to do same and will have a big hor 31st) and expect them to do same and will have a big problem if they don’t. Last time we talked with Xie he indicated using „best efforts“ language in their INDC wouldn’t be a problem, so this shouldn’t be a heavy lift, but good for you to reinforce and you’re perfectly situated to do.

Second, could reassure if they need it that power plant rule will happen, a new R president (if God forbid) could not easily roll back; and that if we can produce a new agreement in Paris that we can join, very unlikely that a new R president to pull out (though any country can always pull out of anything).

Third, might underscore for them that the way we resolved CBDR in JA and then in Lima („CBDR/RC in light of national circumstances“ I believe, but with no operational references to Annex1 and non-Annex 1 in text of JA or Lima) is the right way to think of Paris; and that we really can’t do a deal where form/content is based on which category you were put in in 1992. And China is absolutely pivotal in getting a doable deal done in this respect in Paris.

Re Paris, as I told you on phone, my pitch to them is we both have to get Paris done, can’t let it fail. It is the fulfillment of the JA, which will totally lose its luster (both internationally and bilaterally) if Paris were to crash (eg,“we thought JA a big deal, but guess not so much“).

Holler if you want to discuss anything.

From: John Podesta []
Sent: Friday, March 27, 2015 09:09 AM Eastern Standard Time
To: Stern, Todd D (S/SECC)
Subject: China

Off to China in the morning–Anything new?