Concept and objectives:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the international body for assessing the science related to climate change.
The IPCC was set up in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide policymakers with regular assessments of the scientific basis of climate change, its impacts and future risks, and options for adaptation and mitigation.
IPCC assessments provide a scientific basis for governments at all levels to develop climaterelated policies, and they underlie negotiations at the UN Climate Conference – the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The assessments are policy-relevant but not policy-prescriptive: they may present projections of future climate change based on different scenarios and the risks that climate change poses and discuss the implications of response options, but they do not tell policymakers what actions to take.
The IPCC embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision-makers because of its scientific and intergovernmental nature.
Participation in the IPCC is open to all member countries of the WMO and United Nations. It currently has 195 members.
The Panel, made up of representatives of the member states, meets in Plenary Sessions to take major decisions.
The IPCC Bureau, elected by member governments, provides guidance to the Panel on the scientific and technical aspects of the Panel’s work and advises the Panel on related management and strategic issues1 .
IPCC assessments are written by hundreds of leading scientists who volunteer their time and expertise as Coordinating Lead Authors and Lead Authors of the reports.
They enlist hundreds of other experts as Contributing Authors to provide complementary expertise in specific areas.
IPCC reports undergo multiple rounds of drafting and review to ensure they are comprehensive and objective and produced in an open and transparent way.
Thousands of other experts contribute to the reports by acting as reviewers, ensuring the reports reflect the full range of views in the scientific community.