About the IPCC
This led to the establishment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in 1988, parented by two UN organisations: the World Meteorological Organisation(WMO) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).
Its purpose then, as it is now, is to prepare a report on all aspects of climate change and its impacts, with a view to formulating realistic response strategies. The report is based on a review of all available, peer-reviewed, published scientific/technical literature. The information is assessed on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis. Its reports are policy relevant but not policy prescriptive.
In more than two decades since its establishment, the IPCC has produced 5 reports.
The First Assessment Report (FAR) was produced in 1990. As a consequence of this report, the United Nations General Assembly decided to initiative negotiations for an effective framework convention on climate change (ultimately to be known as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), or more generally as the UN climate negotiations.
The Second Assessment Report: Climate Change (SAR) was produced in 1995.
The Third Assessment Report: Climate Change (TAR) was produced in 2001.
The Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change (AR4) was produced in 2007.The same year, the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with former US vice president Al Gore in recognitionof their work on climate change.
The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) was produced in 2013/2014. It comprises three main reports, and a final Synthesis Report
- The first report of AR5- from Working Group I - was released in September 2013 (The Physical Science Basis) and assesses the physical scientific aspects of climate change.
- The second report of AR5- from Working Group II - was released in March 2014 (Impacts, adaptation and vulnerability).
- The third report of AR5 (Mitigation on climate change) was released in April 2014.
- The final Synthesis Report of AR5 was released in October 2014
WWF explains what you need to know about the latest IPCC report:
The Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) provides a clear view of the current state of scientific knowledge related to climate change.
IPCC AR5 key messages tracker
This tool summaries the findings of the report, based on:
- confidence of validity
- degree of scientific agreement
- quantified measures of uncertainty.
The IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report represents seven years of work by more than a thousand scientists globally from 160 countries. It tells us that climate change is already affecting people and nature everywhere. Ocean acidification, sea level rise, extreme heat events, and profound changes in the Arctic show that climate change is already a fact. It tells us that we are the cause, and that our addiction to fossil fuels is the overwhelming source of the pollution that is changing our climate.
But it also tells us that there is still hope, if we act now.
Find out more.