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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Eighteenth Plenary Session
London, UK 24-29 September 2001

The purpose of the meeting is to adopt/approve the Third Assessment Report "Climate Change 2001." For more on the IPCC Third Assessment Report and contributions made by the Three Working Groups, visit and download Summaries for Policymakers (SPM) and Technical Summaries (TS): WG I "Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis"; WG II "Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability"; and WG III "Climate Change 2001: Mitigation"

About the IPCC
Recognizing the problem of potential global climate change, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. It is open to all members of the UNEP and WMO. The role of the IPCC is to assess the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant for the understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change. It does not carry out new research nor does it monitor climate related data. It bases its assessment mainly on published and peer reviewed scientific technical literature. The IPCC has three working groups and a Task Force:

  • Working Group I assesses the scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change.
  • Working Group II addresses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change, and options for adapting to it.
  • Working Group III assesses options for limiting greenhouse gas emissions and otherwise mitigating climate change.
  • The Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories oversees the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Programme.

The Panel meets in plenary sessions about once a year. It accepts/approves IPCC reports, decides on the mandates and work plans of the working groups, the structure and outlines of reports, the IPCC Principles and Procedures, and the budget. It also elects the IPCC Chairman and the Bureau. The IPCC completed its First Assessment Report in 1990. It played an important role in establishing the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by the UN General Assembly. The UNFCCC was adopted in 1992 and entered into force in 1994. It provides the overall policy framework for addressing the climate change issue. The IPCC has continued to provide scientific, technical and socio-economic advice to the world community, and in particular to the 170-plus Parties to the UNFCCC through its periodic assessment reports on the state of knowledge of causes of climate change, its potential impacts and options for response strategies. Its Second Assessment Report, Climate Change 1995, provided key input to the negotiations, which lead to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC in 1997. The IPCC also prepares Special Reports and Technical Papers on topics where independent scientific information and advice is deemed necessary and it supports the UNFCCC through its work on methodologies for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. The Third Assessment Report "Climate Change 2001" provides a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the policy-relevant scientific, technical, and socio-economic dimensions of climate change. It concentrates on new findings since 1995, pays greater attention to the regional (in addition to the global) scale, and non-English literature. The three Working Groups contributions have been published in July 2001. The Synthesis report will be available towards the end of 2001.


ENB Summary


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Linkages Climate Change page
ENB coverage of the COP-6 resumed session
ENB coverage of the Seventeenth Session of the IPCC
IPCC Secretariat web site
ENB's "Introduction to the climate change process"
Other links (NGOs, research institutes, etc)
IPCC Briefings at COP-6 resumed session

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