The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for assessment of climate change. It is a key source of scientific information and technical guidance to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol and Paris Agreement. The IPCC provides governments at all levels with scientific information they can use to develop climate policies.
The IPCC is an organisation of governments that are members of the United Nations or the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). The IPCC currently has 195 members.
IPCC’s main activities are to prepare:
The IPCC does not undertake new research but synthesises published and peer-reviewed literature to develop a comprehensive assessment of scientific understanding, published in IPCC Assessment Reports.
The IPCC’s work is guided by a set of principles and procedures that govern all the main activities of the organisation. IPCC member governments and observer organisations nominate experts and the IPCC Bureau selects authors and editors, with expertise in a range of scientific, technical and socio-economic fields. IPCC reports are the product of multiple drafting and review processes to promote an objective, comprehensive and transparent assessment of current knowledge.
The IPCC was created in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The IPCC is preparing its Sixth Assessment Report. It will provide an update on the scientific, technical and socio-economic aspects of climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response strategies. It is divided into three main topics with each prepared by a separate Working Group:
The Sixth Assessment Report will also include a Synthesis Report, which will synthesise and integrate material contained within the Assessment Reports and Special Reports. These reports are currently scheduled to be published in stages from 2021 to 2022.
Read about the Sixth Assessment Report on the IPCC website.
Australia is well represented in the Sixth Assessment Report author teams. The IPCC has invited 40 Australian experts to participate, with a total of 721 experts from 90 countries appointed to develop the report. Australian experts are also invited to review draft reports and a considerable number of experts make a significant contribution to the science that underpins the reports.
Our department was involved in the preparation and approval of these reports, through:
The IPCC approved new guidance to help countries estimate their greenhouse gas emissions. The 2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories was adopted and accepted by IPCC member governments in May 2019. The report provides an updated scientific basis for improving national greenhouse gas inventories. Several Australian experts served on the writing and review teams to develop this report.
The IPCC delivered three Special Reports between 2018 and 2019:
Several Australian experts served on the writing and review teams for these Special Reports and many made a significant contribution to the science underpinning these reports.
The IPCC Plenary is the main body of IPCC members. Representatives of IPCC member governments meet one or more times a year in Plenary Sessions of the Panel. They elect a Bureau of scientists for the duration of an assessment cycle. Governments and Observer Organisations nominate, and Bureau members select, experts to prepare IPCC reports.
Each IPCC member designates a National Focal Point. The Focal Point:
Last updated: 8 December 2020
Content ID: 67319