Historical emissions are to blame for climate change: Chinese official

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On the sidelines of the annual United Nations climate change conference in Warsaw, a Chinese official has reiterated that climate change should be related to the historical concentration of greenhouse gas emissions.

"The current total emission volume is very large [in China], but it should be put into context," Su Wei, deputy chief of the Chinese delegation and also director of the climate change department of China's National Development and Reform Commission, said at a press conference here on Thursday.

In response to a question on whether there could be a connection between China's emissions and the super typhoon that had hit the Philippines earlier this month, Su made a strong emphasis on the fact that China is far below the average emission level in a historical context and that China's per capita emission level is lower than that of most developed countries.

"The super typhoon is an immediate warning to humanity. All countries need to take further enhanced actions, under the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities as well as equity," Su said.

Current climate change was caused by the accumulated concentration of greenhouse gas emissions for the past 200 years, and those were attributed to the developed countries since the industrial era, Su said, adding that greenhouse gas has a long life from 50 to 200 years.

"It is important to take historical responsibility element in the context of climate actions after 2020," Su said.

The two-week-long conference that started this Monday was expected to lay the ground for a new global climate deal after 2020, as well as to discuss the finance implementation from developed countries and a lost and damage mechanism for developing countries worst hit by global warming. Endi

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