Code of Conduct for Meetings, Events and Activities of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change[1]


The organizations of the United Nations system are committed to enabling events at which everyone can participate in an inclusive, respectful, harassment-free and safe environment.

IPCC events, meetings and activities are guided by the highest ethical and professional standards, and all participants are expected to conduct themselves with integrity and in a manner that is professional, respectful, harassment-free, inclusive, tolerant and responsible towards all participants attending or involved with any IPCC event or activity. A zero-tolerance approach will be applied to any form of discrimination, including exclusion of an individual in a process or discussion, harassment, sexual harassment, and abuse of authority.



This Code of Conduct applies to all individuals attending or involved in any capacity at any IPCC meetings, events, and activities, which shall include Panel Sessions, Lead Author  Meetings, Expert Meetings and Workshops, conferences, symposia, side events, any outreach events organized by the IPCC Secretariat or the Working Group and Task Force Technical Support Units, as well as any other forum organized, hosted or sponsored in whole or in in part by the IPCC wherever it takes place, and regardless of format, including, but not limited to, teleconferences, electronic or digital meetings or by correspondence.

The IPCC commits to implementing the Code of Conduct.

The Code of Conduct is not legal or prescriptive in nature. It supplements, and does not affect, the application of other relevant policies, regulations, rules and laws, including laws regulating the premises in which the IPCC event takes place and any applicable host country agreements. 

Prohibited Conduct

Discrimination is any unfair treatment or arbitrary distinction based on a person’s race, sex, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, language, social origin or other status. Discrimination may be an isolated event affecting one person or a group of persons similarly situated or may manifest itself through harassment or abuse of authority. 

Harassment is any improper and unwelcome conduct that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offence or humiliation to another person because of, for example, an individual’s gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, disability, physical appearance, ethnicity, national origin, age, or religion. Harassment may take the form of words, gestures or actions which tend to annoy, alarm, abuse, demean, intimidate, belittle, humiliate or embarrass another or which create an intimidating, hostile or offensive professional environment. 

Sexual harassment is a specific type of prohibited conduct. It is any unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that might reasonably be expected or be perceived to cause offense or humiliation. Sexual harassment may be any conduct of a verbal, including via electronic or telephonic means, nonverbal or physical nature and may occur between persons of the same or different genders. 

Abuse of authority is the improper use of a position of influence, power or authority by an individual against another when participating in IPCC events, meetings and activities. It can include a one-off incident or a series of incidents. Abuse of authority may also include misuse of power that creates a hostile or offensive working environment, which includes – but is not limited to – the use of bullying, intimidation, threats, blackmail or coercion.

Initial steps and confidential support

Any individuals that feel that an issue has arisen regarding discrimination, harassment or abuse are encouraged to take action as soon as possible. If the participant feels comfortable and safe, they can address the matter informally with the alleged offender. Alternatively, individuals may reach out, in confidence, for informal support either directly or in writing, including email, to the IPCC unit responsible for organizing the meeting, event or activity, such as the relevant Technical Support Unit (TSU) point of contact or the Gender Action Team (GAT) point of contact.

All reports and allegations of prohibited conduct will be handled sensitively and in confidence.

Complaint process

If an individual has not been able to resolve the matter informally and would like to pursue a formal procedure, they may file a formal complaint with the WMO Internal Oversight Office (IOO), serving the IPCC. The point of contact for the Gender Action Team or the Relevant Working Group/Task Force/Task Group can provide more information. Such reporting shall have no effect on any applicable rules and procedures that may apply in the UN system or to other personnel. Any reports will be handled in accordance with applicable policies, regulations and rules. The organizer of the IPCC event will take appropriate action in accordance with applicable policies, rules, regulations and laws, such as:

  • Requesting the offending person to stop the unacceptable behaviour;
  • Suspending or terminating access of the offending person to the IPCC event or activity;
  • Prohibiting the attendance of the offending person at future IPCC events or activities; and
  • Notifying disciplinary or investigative authorities with jurisdiction over the offending person for follow-up action.

The person experiencing harassment may also seek help from other relevant authorities, such as the police, bearing in mind the applicable legal framework.

A participant should never knowingly make a false or misleading claim about prohibited conduct. Intentionally  false complaints may be treated as a violation of this Code of Conduct.

Prohibition of retaliation

Threats, intimidation or any other form of retaliation against a participant who has made a complaint or provided information in support of a complaint are prohibited. The IPCC will take any reasonable appropriate action needed to prevent and respond to retaliation, in accordance with its applicable policy, regulations and rules.

Points of contact

If anyone participating in an IPCC meeting, event, or activity faces harassment of any sort, they should contact the relevant Head of the Technical Support Unit of the Working Group or Task Force or the Chair of the Gender Action Team.



[1] This Code of Conduct is informed by the United Nations (UN) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO) guidance and instructions as contained in the Charter of the UN, the UN Secretary-General Bulletin on Prohibition of discrimination, harassment, including sexual  harassment, and abuse of authority and the WMO Ethics Framework. See;;