Climate Change

Climate talks : a new leak published by the Guardian

After the "Danish text" at the Copenhagen summit, "Obama’s hardline US climate talk strategy"

Témoignages.re / 13 April 2010

According to the british newspaper, "A document accidentally left on a European hotel computer and passed to the Guardian reveals the US government’s increasingly controversial strategy in the global UN climate talks." "Titled Strategic communications objectives and dated 11 March 2010, it outlines the key messages that the Obama administration wants to convey to its critics and to the world media in the run-up to the vital UN climate talks in Cancun, Mexico in November.", writted the Guardian. After the "Danish text" published by this newspaper in the beginning of the Copenhagen UNFCCC’s conference, the Guardian unveiled a new confidential document. Following this leak published at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/apr/12/us-document-strategy-climate-talks

Strategic communications objectives

1) Reinforce the perception that the US is constructively engaged in UN negotiations in an effort to produce a global regime to combat climate change. This includes support for a symmetrical and legally binding treaty.

2) Manage expectations for Cancun – Without owning the message, advance the narrative that while a symmetrical legally binding treaty in Mexico is unlikely, solid progress can be made on the six or so main elements.

3) Create a clear understanding of the CA’s standing and the importance of operationalising ALL elements.

4) Build and maintain outside support for the administration’s commitment to meeting the climate and clean energy challenge despite an increasingly difficult political environment to pass legislation.

5) Deepen support and understanding from the developing world that advanced developing countries must be part of any meaningful solution to climate change including taking responsibilities under a legally binding treaty.

Media outreach

• Continue to conduct interviews with print, TV and radio outlets driving the climate change story.

• Increase use of off-the-record conversations.

• Strengthen presence in international media markets during trips abroad. Focus efforts on radio and television markets.

• Take greater advantage of new media opportunities such as podcasts to advance US position in the field bypassing traditional media outlets.

• Consider a series of policy speeches/public forums during trips abroad to make our case directly to the developing world.

Key outreach efforts

• Comprehensive and early outreach to policy makers, key stakeholders and validators is critical to broadening support for our positions in the coming year.

• Prior to the 9-11 April meeting in Bonn it would be good for Todd to meet with leading NGOs. This should come in the form of 1:1s and small group sessions.

• Larger group sessions, similar to the one held at CAP prior to Copenhagen, will be useful down the line, but more intimate meetings in the spring are essential to building the foundation of support. Or at the very least, disarming some of the harsher critics.


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