Jane Burston hears Chris Huhne reiterate there will second Kyoto period without a roadmap to a legally-binding deal in 2015
The ‘high level' negotiations in Durban are well under way.
Ministers and UN officials can be seen occasionally striding about the place like celebrities, followed by clicking cameras and the occasional cluster of NGO campaigners in ‘I heart the Kyoto Protocol' t-shirts.
The UK delegation is also hard at work, but Chris Huhne spared 15 minutes to talk to UK press about how things are going and what he wants out of a deal.
The lowdown is this: the EU is absolutely gunning for a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, but is not prepared to agree to one without other countries signing up to a roadmap which will set all countries on a path to a legally binding deal, and a timeline for achieving that deal.
The content of such a deal will need to include an indication of the nature of the agreement being aimed at, i.e. mention of the fact that such an agreement must be legally binding.
Huhne emphasised that the timeline will need to be such that emissions are able to peak and start to decline by the end of the decade, saying, "The key thing is that we have to get global emissions coming down by 2020."
There have been public statements from China that they might be willing to sign up to a roadmap, but it is unclear whether those commitments will be translated into firm commitments in the negotiating text at the end of the week.
The US has continued to be negative about the prospect of a legally binding commitment before 2020. The country has also stated that they don't want to reopen the ledges made at Copenhagen and cemented at Cancun.
This leaves unresolved the issue of the ‘emissions gap'. This is the gap between the level of emissions cuts enshrined in the pledges and the level of emissions cuts needed in order to have a 50 per cent chance of keeping global temperature rises to 2 degrees or less.
The EU's response to the level of commitment by other countries will be "graduated", according to Huhne, and that this issue is one for which "the EU is displaying a remarkable level of unity."
But the detail all still needs to be hammered out. One of the critical factors - which countries will be classed as ‘developed' and which as ‘developing' - has "not got to the point where there is technical work on this issue."
Negotiators are set to work day and night now on draft texts. The EU at least believes there is all to play for. Let's hope they're right.
Jane Burston is founder and director of offsetting company Carbon Retirement