The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) assesses the scientific,
and socioeconomic information relevant for the
understanding of the risk of human-induced climate change.
The IPCC is an independent body founded under the auspices of the World Meteorological Organization
(WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The IPCC is best known for its
comprehensive assessment reports, incorporating summaries for policymakers from a synthesis report
and from all three Working Groups, which are widely recognized as the most credible sources of
scientific information on climate change. In October 2014, the latest and Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC (AR5) was finalized.
The Conference of the Parties (COP) has repeatedly expressed its appreciation for the IPCC’s
work and called on the Convention bodies, in particular the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and
Technological Advice (SBSTA), to continue its cooperation with the IPCC and to seek its advice. It
has also urged Parties to contribute financially to the IPCC’s work, as well as to nominate and
support experts for the IPCC, especially from developing countries. According to Article 21.2 of the Convention, the
secretariat “will cooperate closely with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to
ensure that the Panel can respond to the need for objective scientific and technical advice”.
Further background information >>
Current status of work
In decision 1/CP.21, whereby the COP adopted the Paris Agreement, the COP,
- Invited the IPCC to provide a special report in 2018 on the impacts of global
warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways
- Requested the SBSTA to provide advice on how the assessments of the IPCC can inform the
global stocktake of the implementation of the Agreement pursuant to its Article 14 of the
Agreement and to report on this matter to the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Paris Agreement (APA) at
its second session (paragraph 101).
The IPCC will complete the following products in its sixth assessment cycle:
- A Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and
related global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission pathways, in response to the invitation by the
COP mentioned below;
- A Special Report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land
management, food security and GHG fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems;
- A Special Report on climate change and oceans and the cryosphere;
- The Sixth Assessment Report, which will be considered in 2022. The latter consists of reports
from the three IPCC working groups (physical science, mitigation and adaptation), a regional report,
a methodology report and a synthesis report.
The scientific community has already begun work on CMIP6, led by the
WCRP, which will include consideration of scenarios that limit warming in 2100 to below
1.5°C relative to pre-industrial levels, and the range of impacts at the
regional and local levels associated with these scenarios (FCCC/SBSTA/2015/2,
In May 2016, SBSTA 44 launched its consideration of advice
on how the assessments of the IPCC can inform the
global stocktake of the implementation of the Paris Agreement pursuant to its Article 14.
This was in response to a COP 21 mandate (decision 1/CP.21, paragraph 100).
More information can be found here. The SBSTA–IPCC
special event on this matter took place on 18 May 2016 at the World Conference
Center Bonn, meeting room Genf, Bonn, Germany, from 15:00–18:00. More information is available
In November 2016, SBSTA 45 provided advice on how the assessments of
the IPCC can inform the global stocktake. The advice deals with topics
including: lessons from past experience; dialogue between IPCC experts and Parties;
special events; views that emerged from a recent special event; inputs from the IPCC being
considered in an effective and balanced manner, as part of the overall input to the global stocktake;
and the SBSTA-IPCC Joint Working Group. In addition the SBSTA, inter alia, noted that the
forthcoming products of the sixth IPCC assessment cycle will be key inputs to the first global
stocktake in 2023, and discussed the timing of future cycles. For the full text please see the
report, paragraphs 47-56.