Kyoto’s Gravesite (?) and China’s Confusion on the “Middle Ground”

Some interesting remarks coming out of delegates in this afternoon’s working group meetings on the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) negotiating track:

Democratic Republic of Congo: “Africa Group will not allow the African soil to be the graveyard of the Kyoto Protocol”

New Zealand (echoing the DRC): “New Zealand agrees Durban should not be the tomb of the KP”

Australia:  A provisional application of the Kyoto Protocol “will not provide the certainty parties are looking for and may also face constitutional impediments” in many of the member states.

EU (driving the point home): “A second commitment period without enough parties participating is clearly insufficient to solve problem of climate change.”

China: “We are not clear about the meaning of the concept of middle ground”

The remark from China was in response to the AWG-KP chair’s consistent calls for parties to reach a middle ground on the key issues stopping up the completion of the KP track negotiations. *It may have been due to a language barrier (the delegate was speaking directly in English without translation).  Either way, the audience reacted pretty nervously to the statement*