The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 jointly by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and its establishment was subsequently endorsed by the UN General Assembly.
The IPCC provides the climate change regime with authoritative assessments, undertaken in a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent manner, of the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding climate change, including its impacts and mitigation. The IPCC has brought out three such assessment reports: the First Assessment Report (1990) set the stage for the negotiations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Second Assessment Report (1995) provided the impetus for the negotiations of the Kyoto Protocol and the Third Assessment Report (2001) laid the scientific basis for continued international cooperation. Work on the Fourth Assessment Report is currently in hand, and is due to be completed in 2007. In organising these successive efforts, the IPCC mobilises experts and specialists working on various aspects of climate change drawn from all over the world, to ensure that not only is there a geographical balance in the expertise that is provided towards production of each assessment, but also to employ the widest possible range of knowledge and expertise for this purpose.
This article comes from the IDS Bulletin 35.3 (2004) Climate Change and its Implications for Development: The Role of IPCC Assessments