How is the IPCC structured?
Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis as authors, contributors and reviewers. Their work is supported by a central IPCC Secretariat, providing administrative services, and by the Technical Support Units (TSUs) of each Working Group. The Secretariat and the TSUs employ 5-10 people each.
The IPCC is currently organised in three Working Groups:
- Working Group I focuses on "The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change"
- Working Group II focuses on "Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability"
- Working Group III focuses on "Mitigation of Climate Change".
Each Working Group is headed by two or three co-chairs (at least one from a developed and one from a developing country) who lead the overall activities of the Working Group. The IPCC as a whole is headed by the IPCC chair who is responsible for the overall activities of the IPCC.
The IPCC also has a Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. The main objective of the Task Force is to develop and refine a methodology for the calculation and reporting of national greenhouse gas emissions and removals. In addition to the Working Groups and Task Force, further Task Groups and Steering Groups may be established to consider a specific topic or question. Examples include the Task Group on Data and Scenario Support for Impact and Climate Analysis (TGICA). See the figure below for a schematic diagram of how the IPCC is structured.
A "Synthesis Report" (SYR) which combines the key findings from each working group along with an overview of how they all fit together into one concise, policy-relevant document is usually produced in parallel with the underlying Working Group Reports.
Organisational structure of the IPCC.