A main activity of the IPCC is to provide in regular intervals an assessment of the state of knowledge on climate change. The IPCC also prepares Special Reports and Technical Papers on topics where independent scientific information and advice is deemed necessary and it supports the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) through its work on methodologies for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. A number of IPCC reports are published commercially. Summaries, CD ROMs and Technical Papers can be obtained free of charge. A limited number of full reports are avaible from the IPCC Secretariat for developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
History of IPCC to December 2004.
The First IPCC Assessment Report was completed in 1990. The Report played an important role in establishing the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee for a UN Framework Convention on Climate Change by the UN General Assembly. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (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 Parties to the UNFCCC through its periodic assessment reports and special reports. Its Second Assessment Report, Climate Change 1995, provided key input to the negotiations, which led to the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC in 1997.
The Third Assessment Report (TAR), Climate Change 2001, was completed in 2001. It was submitted to the 7th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and Parties agreed that it should be used routinely as a useful reference for providing information for deliberations on agenda items of the Conference of the Parties.
The IPCC has decided to continue to prepare comprehensive assessment reports and agreed to complete its Fourth Assessment Report in 2007.