Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - Environment Skip to main content

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – Environment

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)


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The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988.

2007 Nobel Peace Prize

  • In 2007, the IPCC and U.S. Vice-President Al Gore were jointly 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 that are needed to counteract such change”. 


  • IPCC does not engage in scientific research. 
  • Instead, it asks scientists from around the world to go through all the relevant scientific literature related to climate change and draw up logical conclusions.
  • The assessments are policy-relevant but not policy prescriptive: 
  • they may present projections of future climate change based on different scenarios and the risks that climate change poses and discuss the implications of response options, but they do not tell policymakers what actions to take.

Assessment Reports

  • So far, six assessment reports have been produced, the first one being released in 1990.
  • Six to eight years for an assessment report. 

Synthesis Report

  • Synthesis Report for the Sixth Assessment Cycle (8500+ pages summarized)
  • The Synthesis Report is based on the content of the three Working Groups Assessment Reports: 
    • WGI – The Physical Science Basis, 
    • WGII – Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, 
    • WGIII – Mitigation of Climate Change, 
  • Three Special Reports: 
    • Global Warming of 1.5°C, 
    • Climate Change and Land, 
    • The Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate.

Important Takeaways

  • The global surface temperature has already warmed by 1.1 C over pre-industrial levels
  • Has led to extreme and/or unpredictable weather events
  • Such events have made people much more susceptible to food insecurity, water shortages with vulnerable populations disproportionately facing the brunt of climate change. 
  • Adaptation planning and implementation have progressed.
  • Despite progress, adaptation gaps exist, and will continue to grow at current rates of implementation. 
  • Hard and soft limits to adaptation have been reached in some ecosystems and regions. 
  • Maladaptation is happening in some sectors and regions. 
  • Current global financial flows for adaptation are insufficient for, and constrain implementation of, adaptation options, especially in developing countries 

  • Exceeding a Warming Level and Returning – If warming exceeds a specified level such as 1.5°C, it could gradually be reduced again by achieving and sustaining net negative global CO2 emissions. 
  • This would require the additional deployment of carbon dioxide removal, compared to pathways without overshoot, leading to greater feasibility and sustainability concerns. 
  • Overshoot entails adverse impacts, some irreversible, and additional risks for human and natural systems, all growing with the magnitude and duration of overshoot.

Way Ahead

  • Reduce emissions sharply and give up fossil fuels through investments in renewable energy and other low-carbon technologies, increase energy efficiency, rethink agriculture and restore forests and degraded natural landscapes. 
  • It may also be necessary to develop technologies that suck carbon dioxide from the air, called “direct air capture”, or explore other means of “climate repair”.
  • Requirement of climate-resilient development.
  • Focus on diverse values, world views and knowledge around the globe including Indigenous knowledge.

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