© ®The Nobel Foundation
Oslo, 10 December 2007
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Albert Arnold (Al) Gore Jr. were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
"for their efforts to build up
and disseminate greater knowledge about
man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures
are needed to counteract such change".
For further clarification regarding the award, click here
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was created in 1988. It was set up by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP)
to prepare, based on available scientific information, assessments on all aspects of climate change and its impacts, with a view of formulating realistic response strategies. The initial task
for the IPCC as outlined in UN General Assembly Resolution 43/53 of 6 December 1988 was to prepare a comprehensive review and recommendations with respect to the state of knowledge of the
science of climate change; the social and economic impact of climate change, and possible response strategies and elements for inclusion in a possible future international convention on climate.
Today the IPCC's role is as defined in Principles Governing IPCC Work, "...to assess on a comprehensive, objective,
open and transparent basis the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts
and options for adaptation and mitigation. IPCC reports should be neutral with respect to policy, although they may need to deal objectively with scientific, technical and socio-economic factors
relevant to the application of particular policies."
The scientific evidence brought up by the first IPCC Assessment Report of 1990 underlined the importance of climate change as a challenge requiring international cooperation to tackle its
consequences. It therefore played a decisive role in leading to the creation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the key international treaty to reduce
global warming and cope with the consequences of climate change.
Since then the IPCC has delivered on a regular basis the most comprehensive scientific reports about climate change produced worldwide, the Assessment Reports. It has also responded to the need
for information on scientific and technical matters from the UNFCCC, through Methodology Reports and Special Reports, and from governments and international organizations through Special
Reports and Technical Papers. Methodology Reports serve as methodologies and guidelines to help Parties to the UNFCCC prepare their national greenhouse gas inventories.
The IPCC Second Assessment Report of 1995 provided important material drawn on by negotiators in the run-up to adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. The Third Assessment Report came out in 2001
and the Fourth in 2007.
The Fourth Assessment Report paid greater attention to the integration of climate change with sustainable development policies and relationships between mitigation and adaptation.
At the end of 2007 the IPCC was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The participation of the scientific community in the work of the IPCC has grown greatly, in terms of the number of authors and contributors involved in writing and reviewing the reports, geographical
distribution of authors, and the topics covered by the reports.
The following document provides more information on the foundation of the IPCC, the evolution of the organization, and its work over time with respect to the Climate Convention. It also
illustrates the development of knowledge on various aspects of climate change from 1990 (First Assessment Report) to 2007 (Fourth Assessment Report).
The IPCC is currently finalizing the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). AR5 provides a clear and up to date view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change.
It consists of three Working Group (WG) reports and a Synthesis Report (SYR) which integrates and synthesizes material in the WG reports for policymakers. All three WG reports have been released. The SYR will be finalized at the end October 2014. See Key AR5 dates for
more information on this process.