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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was set up in 1988 to provide comprehensive assessments of the state of scientific, technical and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response strategies. 

Since its inception in 1988 the IPCC has prepared five multi-volume assessment reports, which can be accessed under Reports. It is now in its Sixth Assessment cycle.

The IPCC and former US Vice-President Al Gore were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007 for their work on climate change.

The Sixth Assessment cycle

During this cycle, the IPCC has so far produced three Special Reports and a Methodology Report on national greenhouse gas inventories. It is now working on the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6).

The 43rd Session of the IPCC held in April 2016 agreed that the AR6 Synthesis Report would be finalized in 2022 in time for the first UNFCCC global stocktake, when countries will review progress towards their goal of keeping global warming to well below 2 °C while pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5 °C. The three Working Group contributions to AR6 will be finalized in 2021.

Key links (English only) 

Methodology Reports 

The IPCC also prepares methodologies and guidelines for national greenhouse gas inventories through the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (TFI). These help Parties to the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol to draw up national inventories of greenhouse gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks. The last major publication was the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

2019 Refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

At the 43rd Session of the IPCC in April 2016, the Panel agreed to refine the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, including producing a Methodology Report in order to update and supplement the 2006 IPCC Guidelines. The process resulted in the 2019 Refinement, a Methodology Report which will be used in conjunction with the 2006 IPCC Guidelines. 

The Methodology Report was considered by the 49th Session of the Panel in May 2019 (Kyoto, Japan).

Insert 2019 refinement cover

The TFI has produced two sets of guidance that were adopted and accepted by the IPCC at its 37th Session held on 14-18 October 2013:  

  • the 2013 Supplement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories: Wetlands, (in English) provides methodological guidance on lands with wet and drained soils, and constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment.
  • the 2013 Revised Supplementary Methods and Good Practice Guidance Arising from the Kyoto Protocol, (in English)  provides Parties to the UNFCCC who report under the Kyoto Protocol with the additional guidance they need for its second commitment period. 

These supplementary guidelines were prepared at the invitation of the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice of the UNFCCC and Conference of the Parties Serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC respectively. 

For more information please see the TFI website (English).

The Task Group on Data Support for Climate Change Assessments (TG – Data) 

TG-Data aims to provide guidance to the Data Distribution Centre (DDC) on curation, traceability, stability, availability and transparency of data and scenarios related to the reports of the IPCC. Together with the DDC, the Task Group facilitates the availability and consistent use of climate change-related data and scenarios in support of the implementation of the IPCC’s programme of work.

TG-Data replaces the  Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis (TGICA) whose mandate was to facilitate the distribution and application of climate change related data and scenarios to enable research and sharing of information across the three IPCC Working Groups.

At its 47th Session on 13-16 March 2018, the IPCC adopted Decision IPCC-XLVII-9 where TGICA was renamed to Task Group on Data Support for Climate Change Assessments (TG-Data) with new Terms of Reference for TG-Data as well as Guidance for the Data Distribution Centre (DDC).

For more information visit the TG-Data page (English).

Other Useful links in the English-language pages  

For information about IPCC Sessions, Bureau Meetings and Meetings of the ExCom, see the Documentation Section.  

For the full IPCC calendar of meetings and other important dates, please see the IPCC Calendar.

For IPCC press releases, media advisories, announcements and other communications and outreach materials please see the News section.

For presentations and speeches provided at various IPCC outreach events around the world, please see  the outreach calendar. 

For information on the IPCC Scholarship Programme, please see Scholarship  pages.

Latest IPCC Special Reports

Besides the Assessment Reports, the IPCC publishes Special Reports on specific topics such as extreme events and disasters, renewable energy, impacts of global warming of 1.5ºC and related emissions pathways, the ocean and cryosphere, and land use. They can be accessed under Reports.

In the Sixth Assessment Cycle, the IPCC has finalized three Special Reports between October 2018 and September 2019.

Global Warming of 1.5°C

An IPCC special report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty (SR15).

This report was considered by the 48th Session of the Panel in October 2018 (Incheon, Republic of Korea).

Technical Summary

Full Report (English only)

Video trailer

Full video (English only)

Climate Change and Land

An IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems

It was considered by the 50th Session of the IPCC in August 2019 (Geneva, Switzerland)

Summary for Policymakers (in English, translated version being finalised)
Technical Summary (in English, translated version being finalised)
Full Report (English only)
Video trailer
Full video (English only)

Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate (SROCC)

This report was considered by the 51st Session of the Panel in September 2019 (Principality of Monaco)

Summary for Policymakers (in English, translated version being finalised)
Technical Summary (in English, translated version being finalised)
Full Report (English only)
Video trailer
Full video (English only)

More information on the other IPCC Special Reports is available here

About us

What is the IPCC?

Note: Some links take the reader to English-language documents where translations are not available

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. In the same year, the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC.

The IPCC is a scientific body. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic literature produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct research nor does it monitor climate-related data or parameters.It is an intergovernmental body. It is open to all member countries of the United Nations and WMO. Currently 195 countries are members of the IPCC. The Panel meets at least once a year in plenary at the level of government representatives where the main decisions about the IPCC work programme are taken and Bureau Members, including the Chair, are elected. Governments participate also in the scoping of reports, nomination of authors, the review process and accept, adopt and approve reports at plenary sessions.

Because of its scientific and intergovernmental nature, the IPCC embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision-makers. By endorsing the IPCC reports, governments acknowledge the authority of their scientific content. The work of the organization is therefore policy-relevant and yet policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive.

How the IPCC works

Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis as authors, contributors and reviewers. None of them is paid by the IPCC.

The Panel takes major decisions at plenary sessions of government representatives. A central IPCC Secretariat supports the work of the IPCC.

The IPCC is currently organized in three Working Groups and a Task Force. The Working Groups and Task Force are assisted by Technical Support Units (TSUs). 

Working Group I deals with the physical science basis of climate change, Working Group II with climate change impacts, adaptation and vulnerability, and Working Group III with mitigation of climate change. The Working Groups meet in plenary at the level of government representatives. The main objective of the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories is to develop and refine a methodology for the calculation and reporting of national greenhouse gas emissions and removals.

Besides the Working Groups and Task Force, further Task Groups and steering groups may be established for a limited or longer duration to consider a specific topic or question. One example is the Task Group on Data Support for Climate Change Assessments (TG – Data).

For more information on the IPCC and how it works visit the About pages (in English)



The IPCC’s work is guided by a set of principles and clear procedures for all the main activities of the organization. These processes and procedures are constantly being reviewed and updated to ensure that they remain strong, transparent and reliable. For recent changes to IPCC procedures and related information see Review of Processes and Procedures (English), which covers all the recent changes to IPCC procedures approved by the Panel in the period 2010-2012.

The document “Principles Governing IPCC Work” lays down the role of the IPCC, its organization, participation in it, and its key procedures, and establishes comprehensiveness, objectivity, openness and transparency as guiding principles of IPCC Work.

The following Appendices to the “Principles Governing IPCC Work” provide detailed rules and procedures:

[ The IPCC, during its 52nd Session is scheduled to discuss a review of the Principles Governing IPCC Work. ]

Appendix A

is about the “Procedures for the preparation, review, acceptance, adoption, approval and publication of IPCC Reports“.

Including: Annex 1 – Tasks and Responsibilities for Lead Authors, Coordinating Lead Authors, Contributing Authors, Expert Reviewers and Review Editors of IPCC Reports and Government Focal Points; Annex 2 – Procedure on the Use of Literature in IPCC reports; and Annex 3 – “IPCC Protocol for Addressing Possible Errors in IPCC Assessment Reports, Synthesis Reports, Special Reports and Methodology Reports“.

Appendix B

covers “Financial Procedures for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change“.

(explanatory notes to the Financial Procedures for the IPCC) (Available in English only)

Appendix C

contains the “Rules of Procedures for the Election of the IPCC Bureau and any Task Force Bureau“.

In order to set priorities and guide decisions on whether to prepare Special Reports, Methodology Reports and Technical Papers, the IPCC has adopted the “Decision Framework and Criteria for Special Reports, Methodology Reports and Technical Papers“. The IPCC also has a “Conflict of Interest Policy“, an IPCC Policy and Process for admitting Observer Organizations and a Communication Strategy.

How the IPCC prepares its reports