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What is the IPCC? (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)
Why the IPCC was formed:
Policy makers need an objective source of the most widely accepted scientific, social and economic information available about climate change. They need to know the predicted consequences of a range of actions aimed at reducing the effect of climate change compared with doing nothing (Business as Usual or BAU).
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988.
The role of the IPCC is to thoroughly assess information objectively, and in an open and transparent manner. It analyses the scientific, technical, and socio-economic information about human-induced climate change. The IPCC assesses potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation. The IPCC does not have a mandate to carry out research or monitor climate data. Its assessments are based on published scientific and technical literature.
What the IPCC does:
The main activity of the IPCC is to provide an assessment of the state of knowledge on climate change at regular intervals. It also prepares Special Reports and Technical Papers on topics where independent scientific information and advice is deemed necessary. It supports the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through its work on methodologies for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.
IPCC Assessment Reports have been published in 1990, 1995, and 2001.
It has agreed to complete its Fourth Assessment Report in 2007.
How the IPCC is organised:
The IPCC has three Working Groups and a Task Force
- Working Group 1 assesses the scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change.
- Working Group 2 assesses the vulnerability of human and natural systems to climate change. It describes the negative and positive consequences of climate change, and the options for adapting to it.
- Working Group 3 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. The program is developing an internationally-agreed method for determining greenhouse gas emissions and removals by individual countries.
The Third Assessment Report, Climate Change 2001, is available on line at www.ipcc.ch/