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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). It is charged with assessing the most up to date scientific, technical and socioeconomic research on climate change. Approximately once every six years since 1988, it has produced a full assessment of the current state of scientific knowledge on climate change and what it means for us. These reports synthesise evidence and analyses published either in peer-reviewed journals or other credible sources. The IPCC produced these major assessment reports in 1990, 1995, 2001, 2007 and most recently their Fifth Assessment Report Climate Change 2013 was released in September 2013. The IPCC also produces Technical Papers and develops methodologies (e.g. standard methodologies for national greenhouse gas emission inventories) for use by Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The IPCC has developed procedures for the preparation, review and approval of its assessment reports aimed at guarding their objectivity and ensuring all relevant information is considered. Report preparation and review involves large numbers of experts from most countries of the world. 

See all IPCC Assessment Reports.

The Fifth Assessment Report(2013)

More information about the IPCC, the Policymakers' Summaries and full text of the Fifth Assessment Report, and copies of many of its Special Assessments and Methodological Guidelines are available from the IPCC website.

New Zealand participation

New Zealand participates actively in the IPCC. University and Crown Research Institute scientists contributed as authors and reviewers of the Fourth and Fifth Assessment Reports, and various Special Reports and Methodological Guidelines. Dr David Wratt of NIWA was a member of the IPCC Bureau which oversees activities including the planning for future IPCC assessments. Dr Wratt completed his term of office after the finalisation of the Fifth Assessment report, and has been replaced by Dr Andy Reisinger, Deputy Director of the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.

Other recent reports

Other reports which have been finalised and approved by the IPCC since early 2005 include:

  • the Special Report on Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage
  • the Special Report on Safeguarding the Ozone layer and the Global Climate System
  • 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories.

Copies of the first two of these reports can be downloaded from the IPCC website.