Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao discussed on Thursday the “coordinated strategies” to be adopted at the climate summit in Copenhagen.
The two countries, and the two other BASIC countries Brazil and South Africa, are under pressure from the developed world to do more to mitigate carbon emissions and open up to international scrutiny.
On Thursday, they came under attack from the least developed countries, which want a greater share of the funds the rich nations are being asked to pay to encourage other nations to switch to clean technology.
Singh and Wen shared their reservations about the draft text being prepared by the host Danish government for the summit, which they feel is in favour of the richer nations.
“The host seems to be playing some game as it is reflected in the draft text that they have prepared,” said a source in the Prime Minister’s Office. “The two leaders discussed strategies to strengthen cooperation among developing nations on the eve of the meet.”
But the more immediate threat for India and China came after the small island nations and African countries came together to submit a draft proposal asking rich countries to pay them more than India and China for climate mitigation.
The United States had previously said it would pay more mitigation money to the least developed countries than it would to India and China, nations with expanding economies.
“We are 100 countries and what is being offered to us is peanuts,” said Grenada’s Dessima Williams, spokesperson for the small island nations.
“At least 0.7 per cent of gross domestic product of the rich countries should be provided only to us.”
The new proposal by the small islands and African nations comes on top of a controversial Danish proposal, backed by rich nations, that seeks to weaken the principle of differential responsibility and another one, backed by India, that upholds differential responsibility but doesn’t ask for a specific amount of mitigation money.