Climatic Change

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 621-642

First online:

Structural and Process History of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

  • Shardul AgrawalaAffiliated withScience, Technology and Environmental Policy Program, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

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In the nine years since its establishment in 1988, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has attempted to walk the tightrope of being scientifically sound and politically acceptable. This paper investigates how the IPCC has evolved over two assessment cycles. It provides an in-depth examination of important characteristics of the IPCC process including the peer review mechanism, participation of developing countries, and its interactions with the intergovernmental negotiation process on climate change.