Developed and developing world responsibilities for historical climate change and CO2 mitigation

Ting Wei, Shili Yang, John C. Moore, Peijun Shi, Xuefeng Cui, Qingyun Duan, Bing Xu, Yongjiu Dai, Wenping Yuan, Xin Wei, Zhipeng Yang, Tijian Wen, Fei Teng, Yun Gao, Jieming Chou, Xiaodong Yan, Zhigang Wei, Yan Guo, Yundi Jiang, Xuejie GaoKaicun Wang, Xiaogu Zheng, Fumin Ren, Shihua Lv, Yongqiang Yu, Bin Liu, Yong Luo, Weijing Li, Duoying Ji, Jinming Feng, Qizhong Wu, Huaqiong Cheng, Jiankun He, Congbin Fu, Duzheng Ye, Guanhua Xu, Wenjie Dong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


At the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Cancun, in November 2010, the Heads of State reached an agreement on the aim of limiting the global temperature rise to 2°C relative to preindustrial levels. They recognized that long-term future warming is primarily constrained by cumulative anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, that deep cuts in global emissions are required, and that action based on equity must be taken to meet this objective. However, negotiations on emission reduction among countries are increasingly fraught with difficulty, partly because of arguments about the responsibility for the ongoing temperature rise. Simulations with two earth-system models (NCAR/CESM and BNU-ESM) demonstrate that developed countries had contributed about 60-80%, developing countries about 20-40%, to the global temperature rise, upper ocean warming, and sea-ice reduction by 2005. Enacting pledges made at Cancun with continuation to 2100 leads to a reduction in global temperature rise relative to business as usual with a 1/3-2/3 (CESM 33-67%, BNU-ESM 35-65%) contribution from developed and developing countries, respectively. To prevent a temperature rise by 2°C or more in 2100, it is necessary to fill the gap with more ambitious mitigation efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12911-12915
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 7 Aug 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancun pledge
  • Climate ethics
  • Climate modeling
  • Coupled model intercomparison project phase 5
  • Geoengineering


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