IPCC Releases Statement on its Principles and Procedures

2 February 2010: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a statement on its principles and procedures.

The Panel notes in its statement that the body represents a unique interface between scientists and governments, which aims to provide policy-relevant but not policy-prescriptive information on various aspects of climate change. The IPCC also highlights that its assessments have become, over the last 20 years, "an international gold standard" in the scientific assessment of climate change. It further says that such exercise cannot be completely free of errors but that the IPCC assessments are as close to this goal as possible.

The Panel also clarifies its principles and procedures. In particular, it notes that each assessment involves a large portion of the climate change scientific community and reviewers, and contains the following four main components: broad, balanced participation in the author teams; emphasis on a comprehensive treatment of the relevant scientific literature; two stages of widely distributed, independently monitored review; and word-by-word, consensus approval of the Summaries for Policy-Makers by governments.

The Panel stresses that it does not conduct research itself but instead assesses available peer-reviewed literature, sometimes using reports of governmental and non-governmental organisations according to IPCC procedures. [IPCC Statement on Principles and Procedures]