IPCC Completes Review of Processes and Procedures Wed, Jun 27, 2012

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Over the past two years, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) undertook a complete review of its processes and procedures - effectively the IPCC's "constitution". Decisions on

governance and management, conflict of interest, and procedures were taken by a meeting of the

Panel, the IPCC's governing body, at its 35th session in Geneva on 6-9 June 2012. The Panel also

adopted a communications strategy.

The decisions taken in Geneva complete the process of implementation of a set of recommendations

issued in August 2010 by the InterAcademy Council (IAC), the group created by the world's science

academies to provide advice to international bodies. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

and IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri jointly asked the IAC to undertake an independent review of IPCC

processes and procedures in March 2010. The decision documents are posted on the IPCC website


The decisions taken in Geneva in June include:

  • adoption of a communications strategy governing how the IPCC communicates with policymakers,

    other stakeholders and the media, based on guidance agreed by the IPCC at its 33rd

    session in Abu Dhabi in May 2011;

  • further steps to implement the Conflict of Interest policy approved in Abu Dhabi and at the 34th

    session of the IPCC in Kampala in November 2011;

  • revisions to procedures for electing the IPCC's Bureau - the Chair, IPCC Vice-Chairs, Co-

    Chairs of the Working Groups and the Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories

    (TFI) and the Vice-Chairs of the Working Groups - including strengthening the representation

    of Southwest Pacific states;

  • further clarification of the functions of the IPCC Secretariat and of the Technical Support Units

    (TSUs) that support the Working Groups, TFI and Synthesis Report, and

  • approval of mostly editorial revisions to procedures agreed in Kampala.

"These latest changes further strengthen IPCC operations as it prepares to release its Fifth

Assessment Report in 2013 and 2014. With the completion of the review, the IPCC can now focus

fully on its mandate to assess in a comprehensive, objective, open and transparent basis the

scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of

the risks of climate change, its potential impacts, and options for adaptation and mitigation," IPCC

Chair Rajendra Pachauri said.

The IPCC's 32nd session in Busan, Republic of Korea, in October 2010, adopted most of the IAC

recommendations, and set up Task Groups to work on their implementation. The bulk of the work was

completed for approval at the IPCC's 33rd and 34th sessions. Decisions at these meetings covered a

strengthening of the IPCC procedures including the review process for IPCC reports, the use of nonpeer-

reviewed literature, the selection of authors, and the treatment of uncertainty. Other decisions

involved the creation of an Executive Committee to strengthen IPCC governance between Panel

sessions, and the limitation of the term of office of the Chair, IPCC Vice-Chairs and Co-Chairs to one

term - usually the timeframe of one assessment.

For further information please contact:

Jonathan Lynn, E-mail: jlynn@wmo.int , Tel: + 41 22 730 8066

Werani Zabula, E-mail: wzabula@wmo.int Tel : + 41 22 730 8120

For documents approved at the 35th session of the IPCC, go to:


For a summary of results of the Review of IPCC Processes and Procedures, go to:


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