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China tells Trump climate change is not a Chinese hoax

Donald Trump will enter the White House with an environmental policy agenda opposed to that of the Obama administration. (Video: Daron Taylor/The Washington Post)

The tweet has been referenced during a presidential debate and retweeted more than 104,000 times, and has drawn hundreds of replies. Now, President-elect Donald Trump’s four-year-old Twitter claim that China created the “concept of global warming” to render U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive has elicited a response from the Chinese government.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin repudiated Trump’s accusation on Wednesday, telling reporters at United Nations talks in Marrakesh, Morocco, that U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush started the global warming conversation by supporting the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change during the late 1980s, according to Bloomberg News.

Trump has not yet responded to Liu’s statement.

The panel originated in 1988 through a joint effort by the U.N. Environmental Program and the World Meteorological Organization when Reagan was in office. It has since published five comprehensive assessment reports that use findings from climate experts around the world to generate what its website calls a “full scientific and technical assessment of climate change.”

The panel was jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007, along with Al Gore, after releasing its fourth assessment.

Trump’s now-infamous tweet resurfaced during the first presidential debate on Sept. 26 when Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton confronted Trump over his claim, although she did not explicitly mention his tweet.

During the first Clinton-Trump presidential debate on Sept. 26, Hillary Clinton accused Trump of believing that "climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chi (Video: The Washington Post)

“Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese,” Clinton said. “I think it’s real.”

Trump responded: “I did not. I did not. I do not say that.”

Al Gore offers to work with Trump on climate change. Good luck with that.

Though Trump has since called his tweet a “joke,” his appointment of climate change skeptic Myron Ebell to head his Environmental Protection Agency transition has affirmed to some, including other climate change skeptics, that Trump does not take climate change seriously.

Trump has also questioned the existence of global warming multiple times since his November 2012 tweet, calling it “bulls—” and claiming cold weather had forced “hoaxsters” to relabel global warming as climate change.

A “We the People” petition to remove Ebell from Trump’s transition team reached nearly 100,000 signatures before the White House removed it from the site.

Trump has also said he will get rid of the EPA and pull the United States out of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, which scientists say would have major global ramifications. The D.C.-based think tank Climate Interactive told The Post’s Chris Mooney that the U.S. emissions reduction pledge would account for more than 20 percent of the combined emissions cut among all countries in the accord.

Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who helped negotiate the Paris accord, said at the Marrakesh U.N. talks that the outgoing Obama administration plans to fight Trump’s intent to withdraw.

“No one has a right to make decisions for billions of people based solely on ideology,” Kerry said, via Bloomberg News. “Climate change shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It isn’t a partisan issue for our military. It isn’t a partisan issue for our intelligence community.”

In his speech, Kerry also appealed to Trump not to make decisions based only on ideology or “without proper input.”

“I ask you on behalf of billions of people around the world,” he said. “Do your own due diligence before making irrevocable choices.

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