Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Founding Year: 1988

Staff: 50

Budget: $8.3m

Mr. Abdalah Mokssit (Executive Secretary)

It’s “the leading international body” for scientific assessment of the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts.  It aims to provide governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies. IPCC has 195 member countries and thousands of contributing scientists—all voluntary—from all over the world. The Panels reports are a key input into international climate change debate and negotiations.

It’s most famous for its “IPCC Assessment Reports” covering the state of knowledge on climate change, one for each of the three Working Groups of the IPCC, together with Summaries for Policymakers, plus a Synthesis Report. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization

Working Groups and a Task Force:

  • WG I – The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change – Examines the physical science underpinning past, present, and future climate change. Assesses the rich body of scientific literature, contributing to an ever-strengthening understanding of how the climate system works, and how it is changing in response to human activity.
  • WG II – Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability – Assesses the impacts of climate change, from a world-wide to a regional view of ecosystems and biodiversity, and of humans and their diverse societies, cultures and settlements. It considers their vulnerabilities and the capacities and limits of these natural and human systems to adapt to climate change and thereby reduce climate-associated risks together with options for creating a sustainable future.
  • WG III – Mitigation of Climate Change – Takes both a near-term perspective relevant to decision-makers in government and the private sector and a long-term perspective that helps identify how high-level climate policy goals might be met.
  • TFI – The Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories – Develops and refines an internationally-agreed methodology and software for the calculation and reporting of national GHG emissions and removals and encourages the use of this methodology by member countries. Oversees the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme.


  • Scholarship program – Provides scholarships for PhD students from developing countries for research that advances the understanding of the scientific basis of risks of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation
  • Contributors – Hundreds of experts in different fields volunteer their time and expertise to produce IPCC reports. Thousands more contribute to the review process and to the literature and other knowledge that are assessed in IPCC reports. They invite experts to join their local groups and contribute to the process.
  • Task Groups – Currently there are four task groups to address specific issues: Data Support for Climate Change Assessments, Financial Stability, Gender, and Organization of the Future Work of the IPCC in light of the Global Stocktake.



  • Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters (2012, 582p.) – Explores the challenge of understanding and managing the risks of climate extremes to advance climate change adaptation. Weather- and climate-related disasters have social as well as physical dimensions.
  • AR5 Synthesis Report: Climate Change 2014 (AR5, Nov 2014, 151p.) – Earlier reports were published in 1990, 1995, 2001, and 2007. AR6 is expected in 2022. Provides an authoritative overview of the state of knowledge concerning the science of climate change and represents a major effort of the scientific community to inform policy makers and the public.


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
    Calls for an end to poverty globally by 2030 and promotes increased access to basic services and social protection.
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  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
    Aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture
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  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well Being
    Aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, by reducing mortality rates and increasing access to equitable health care for men and women.
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  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
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  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
    Aims to end gender discrimination in all forms and promote equal opportunity for all women and girls in terms of education, career, and sexual/reproductive rights.
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  • SDG 6 -Clean Water and Sanitisation
    Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by promoting global access to adequate sanitation and hygiene.
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  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
    Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all by promoting affordable and reliable energy sources.
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  • SDG 8 -Decent Work and Economic Growth
    Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
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  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
    Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.  
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  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
    Aims to achieve economic growth by reducing inequalities regarding social, economic and political opportunities and freedoms.
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  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
    Aims to promote the globalization of sustainable cities and communities in turn providing universal safe and affordable housing.
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  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
    Aims to create responsible and sustainable practices involving consumption and production through efficiently using natural resources.
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  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
    Calls to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts through global awareness, education, and integration into government policies.
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  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
    Calls to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development and prevent and reduce marine pollution in order to protect ecosystems and achieve healthy oceans.
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  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
    Aims to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
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  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
    Aims to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Calls to reduce all forms of violence and deaths related to violence and to end abuse and exploitation
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  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals
    Aims to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development by mobilizing domestic resources in order to provide support for developing countries.
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