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Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Recognising the problem of potential global climate change the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. The IPCC is made up of the world's leading scientists in the field of climate change. The role of the IPCC is to assess and review scientific, technical and socio-economic information associated with human-induced climate change.

The IPCC consists of three Working Groups. Working Group I assesses the scientific aspects of the climate system and climate change. Working Group II addresses the vulnerability of socio-economic and natural systems to climate change, negative and positive consequences of climate change, and options for adapting to it. Working Group III assesses options for limiting greenhouse gas emissions and otherwise mitigating climate change.

The IPCC has continued to provide scientific, technical and socio-economic advice to the world community, and in particular to those countries committed to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) through its periodic Assessment Reports on the state of knowledge of causes of climate change, its potential impacts and options for response strategies. To date it has completed three major Assessment Reports (1990, 1995 and 2001). These have provided key information for the Conference of Parties to the Climate Change Convention. The IPCC also prepares Special Reports and Technical Papers on topics where independent scientific information and advice is deemed necessary.