Module 6

Area of Expertise

The science behind climate change: introducing the IPCC
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change.  Because of its scientific and intergovernmental nature, the IPCC embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers. 
The IPCC is widely viewed as an impartial and credible institution, and its work informs climate change negotiations and policy-making around the world.  By endorsing the IPCC reports, governments acknowledge the authority of their scientific content. The work of the organization is therefore policy-relevant and yet policy-neutral, never policy-prescriptive. 

The IPCC was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. In the same year, the UN General Assembly endorsed the action by WMO and UNEP in jointly establishing the IPCC.
The IPCC is a scientific body under the auspices of the United Nations (UN). It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters. 
For more information on the work and structure of the IPCC, please click here.

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Discussion Questions
- Have any of your participants taken part in international climate negotiations?  What has the involvement of MPs or the parliament been so far?

- What international treaties or agreements have been signed by the parliament to date? 

- Have any of the IPCC reports been discussed in parliament?  Are there opportunities to do this within the relevant committee(s)? 

- Are there opportunities for parliamentarians to join their country’s delegation to the COPs?  If not, how can MPs connect with government delegates ahead of these meetings, and how can they strengthen their involvement? 


Parliamentary Action Points
  • Ratifying international agreements
  • Endorsing IPCC reports
  • Parliamentary Networks

Further Resources

National climate change legislation: The key to more ambitious international agreements

National climate change legislation is not just something that should underpin an international agreement after it has been reached, rather it is an enabler that creates the political space for a deal.  This brief provides an overview of entry points for political action at the national level and outlines concrete recommendations for governments.  It also outlines what progress has been made with regard to climate change legislation at the national level, and what role legislators can play in pushing for further progress. 

Draft Outcome Document: Parliamentary Meeting on the Occasion of the United Nations Climate Change Conference

The Parliamentary Meeting in Lima is expected to adopt a succinct outcome document, which will be conveyed to the UN Climate Change Conference. The constraints of the format of a one-day event are such that the draft must be adopted by the Parliamentary Meeting without resorting to a vote or extensive re-drafting. With this in mind, the IPU and the host Parliament carried out a process of broad consultations during the period leading up to the Meeting.  This revised draft, which incorporates a number of amendments received by that date, will be submitted for adoption at the conclusion of the Meeting.

SE4All Bulletin: Summary of the First Sustainable Energy for All Forum

The first Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) Forum convened from 4-6 June 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York, US. The Forum’s 1000 participants assessed progress on sustainable energy since the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in June 2012, showcased successes, shared best practices, presented new commitments, and catalyzed action to help shape the global energy debate for the next decade.