Paleo data have been frequently used to determine the equilibrium (Charney) climate sensitivity Sa, and—if slow feedback processes (e.g., land-ice albedo) are adequately taken into account—they indicate a similar range as estimates based on instrumental data and climate model results. Many studies assume the (fast) feedback processes to be independent of the background climate state, e.g., equally strong during warm and cold periods. Here we assess the dependency of the fast feedback processes on the background climate state using data of the last 800 kyr and a box model of the climate system for interpretation. Applying a new method to account for background state dependency, we find Sa=0.61±0.07 K (W m−2)−1(±1σ) using a reconstruction of Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) cooling of −4.0 K and significantly lower climate sensitivity during glacial climates. Due to uncertainties in reconstructing the LGM temperature anomaly, Sa is estimated in the range Sa = 0.54–0.95 K (W m−2)−1.