Manmohan Singh (

Manmohan Singh recently argued that annex 1 countries should provide 0.5% of GDP to help developing countries reduce emissions, and that India would not collaborate with inspection of their emissions unless this rose to 0.8%. It seems that conditional bargaining chips are all the rage these days in climate negotiations, after the EU’s offer of “a 20% reduction, or 30% if everyone plays nicely”.

Dr Singh’s plan is quite ambitious – Obama’s climate change envoy Todd Stern has already dismissed it out of hand. India’s climate change gurus have been taking an ear-bashing from Hillary Clinton this week, marking another rise in tensions between the US and India over emissions reductions.

Stern argues that India should fix a year for peak emissions and make sure that its emissions reductions are “MRV-able”, but as mentioned above, India demands increased amounts of cash if that is to happen. This does seem a little bit unreasonable. 0.5% of GDP seems like a fair deal given the various estimates of the costs of mitigation and adaptation for developing countries that have been flying around.

Something has to give somewhere, and you can bet that the horse trading will carry on right until the COP. It will be interesting to see how this pans out over the next few weeks, with only a few months until Copenhagen, and countries leaving themselves ever less wiggle room.

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