The IPCC was established to provide the
decision-makers and others interested in climate change with an
objective source of information about climate change. The
IPCC does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate
related data or parameters. Its role is to assess on a comprehensive,
objective, open and transparent basis the latest scientific, technical
and socio-economic literature produced worldwide relevant to the
understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change, its
observed and projected impacts and options for adaptation and
mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy,
although they need to deal objectively with policy relevant scientific,
technical and socio economic factors. They should be of high scientific
and technical standards, and aim to reflect a range of views,
expertise and wide geographical coverage.
Who we are
The IPCC is a scientific intergovernmental body
set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and by the
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Its constituency
is made of :
- The governments: the IPCC is open to all member countries
of WMO and UNEP. Governments of participate in plenary Sessions
of the IPCC where main decisions about the IPCC workprogramme
are taken and reports are accepted, adopted and approved. They
also participate the review of IPCC Reports.
- The scientists: hundreds of scientists all over the world
contribute to the work of the IPCC as authors, contributors
- The people: as United Nations body, the IPCC work aims at
the promotion of the United Nations human development goals
Why the IPCC was created
Climate change is a very complex issue: policymakers
need an objective source of information about the causes of
climate change, its potential environmental and socio-economic
consequences and the adaptation and mitigation options to respond
to it. This is why WMO and UNEP established the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988.
The IPCC is a scientific body: the information
it provides with its reports is based on scientific evidence
and reflects existing viewpoints within the scientific community.
The comprehensiveness of the scientific content is achieved through
contributions from experts in all regions of the world and all
relevant disciplines including, where appropriately documented,
industry literature and traditional practices, and a two stage
review process by experts and governments.
Because of its intergovernmental nature, the
IPCC is able to provide scientific technical and socio-economic
information in a policy-relevant but policy neutral way
to decision makers. When governments accept the IPCC reports and
approve their Summary for Policymakers, they acknowledge the legitimacy
of their scientific content.
The IPCC provides its reports at regular intervals
and they immediately become standard works of reference, widely
used by policymakers, experts and students. The findings of the
first IPCC Assessment Report of 1990 played a decisive role in
leading to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC), which was opened for signature in the Rio de
Janeiro Summit in 1992 and entered into force in 1994. It provides
the overall policy framework for addressing the climate change
issue. The IPCC Second Assessment Report of 1995 provided key
input for the negotiations of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 and the
Third Assessment Report of 2001 as well as Special and Methodology
Reports provided further information relevant for the development
of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. The IPCC continues to be
a major source of information for the negotiations under the UNFCCC.
is a brochure describing the history of the IPCC, major achievements
and its relationship with the UNFCCC, prepared on the occasion
of the 10th Anniversary of the UNFCCC in the year 2004.