STOCKHOLM — African countries Sunday dismissed an early draft of a UN climate accord as "unbalanced" and demanded amendments to even consider it at the final negotiating session before a landmark conference in Paris.
The move by the African bloc came on the eve of week-long talks in Bonn, Germany, on what's envisioned to become the most ambitious agreement ever to fight global warming.
Delegates on Monday were supposed to start line-by-line editing a 20-page draft that contains multiple options on how to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists say are warming the planet.
But the African countries, many of which are among the most vulnerable to climate effects such as desertification and sea level rise, said the draft "cannot be used as a basis for negotiation, as it is unbalanced, and does not reflect the African Group positions, and crosses the group's red lines."
Group spokesman Seyni Nafo said the African countries want more emphasis on financial support to help poor countries cope with climate change.
Nafo said the group was confident that it would be allowed to make additions to the text before negotiations get underway.
Some 150 countries — including top emitters China, the United States, the European Union, and India — have already made voluntary pledges to cut or curb their emissions after 2020, when the deal is supposed to take effect.
But several analyses show those pledges won't be enough to prevent levels of warming that many consider dangerous.