About IPCC
Phone: +41-22-730-8208/84
e-mail: IPCC-Sec@wmo.int



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 and reviewers.
  • 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.


Here 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.


10th Anniversary brochure