The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
The role of the IPCC is to assess on a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for addressing it.
The IPCC does not carry out research itself but bases its assessment on peer reviewed and published scientific/technical literature.
It has been six years since the last assessment report and according to the IPCC’s Working Group I, humans are the primary cause of the build up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These greenhouse gases are causing global climate change.
The IPCC has three Working Groups and a Task Force
- Working Group I assesses the scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change.
- Working Group II assesses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change.
- Working Group III assesses options for limiting greenhouse gas emissions and otherwise mitigating climate change.
- The Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories is responsible for the IPCC National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme.
Main Activities and Products
A key activity of the IPCC is to provide in regular intervals an assessment of the state of knowledge on climate change.
The First IPCC Assessment Report was completed in 1990. The Report played an important role in establishing the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Its Second Assessment Report, Climate Change 1995, provided key input to the negotiations, which led to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC in 1997.
The Third Assessment Report (TAR), Climate Change 2001, was completed in 2001. It was submitted to the 7th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and Parties agreed that it should be used routinely as a useful reference for providing information for deliberations on agenda items of the Conference of the Parties.
During 2007, the IPCC’s 4th Assessment report was finalised and released.
The Working Group I contribution to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (WGI AR5) provides a comprehensive assessment of the physical science basis of climate change. The report was developed by an international team of scientists who were selected in May 2010. It went through a multi-stage review process involving expert reviewers and governments. It will be presented to the IPCC member governments for approval and acceptance in September 2013. In total there were 54,677 comments; 1089 Expert Reviewers from 55 countries, and 38 Governments who commented on the report prior to it being discussed at the final meeting in Stockholm. Read more