The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It 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 on 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 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. As an intergovernmental body, the IPCC is open to all member countries of the United Nations (UN) and WMO. Currently 195 countries are Members of the IPCC. Governments participate in the review process and the plenary Sessions, where main decisions about the IPCC work programme are taken and reports are accepted, adopted and approved. The IPCC Bureau Members, including the Chair, are also elected during the plenary Sessions. Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC. Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information. IPCC aims to reflect a range of views and expertise. Because of its scientific and intergovernmental nature, the IPCC embodies a unique opportunity to provide rigorous and balanced scientific information to decision makers. 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 scientific evidence brought up by the first IPCC Assessment Report of 1990 underlined the importance of climate change as a challenge requiring international cooperation to tackle its consequences. It therefore played a decisive role in leading to the creation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the key international treaty to reduce global warming and cope with the consequences of climate change. Since then the IPCC has delivered on a regular basis the most comprehensive scientific reports about climate change produced worldwide, the Assessment Reports. It has also responded to the need for information on scientific and technical matters from the UNFCCC, through Methodology Reports and Special Reports, and from governments and international organizations through Special Reports and Technical Papers. Methodology Reports serve as methodologies and guidelines to help Parties to the UNFCCC prepare their national greenhouse gas inventories. The Fifth Assessment Report was released in four parts between September 2013 and November 2014. It provides a clear and up to date view of the current state of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change. In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Albert Arnold Gore Jr. were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize “for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change”.
Representing the ICBL at the 15th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates is Mr. Carlos Martin-Novella, Deputy Secretary, MSc in Biology, born in Madrid, Spain, in 1959. Married, with two children. Carlos started his career at the Complutense University (Madrid, Spain) conducting field scientific research on wetlands and wildlife ecology in the Iberian Peninsula. After a period as environmental assessments consultant he led the conservation team of the Spanish Ornithological Society (BirdLife-Spain). His next move was to become Head of the Pan-European Programme at BirdLife International, based in Cambridge (United Kingdom) where, inter alia, he led the production of some landmark scientifically-based policy-relevant assessments and analyzed interfaces between the policies of the World Trade Organization and the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. In the mid-nineties he was engaged by the European Commission as Principal Administrator responsible for, inter alia, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and strategic aspects of international biodiversity policies, including scientific and financial matters, as well as being the focal point within the Directorate-General for the Environment regarding the international biodiversity aspects of the EU Framework Programme on Research and Development and the relations with the OECD’s Expert Group on the Economic Aspects of Biodiversity. From 2002 till 2010 he was Senior Advisor to the Spanish Government on International Biodiversity Policies, covering biodiversity-related Multilateral Environment Agreements, European Union’s biodiversity relevant policy making, and European Union’s interinstitutional negotiations on a broad range of environment policies. This included also representing Spain in biodiversity-related advisory scientific committees established under different pieces of EU legislation. Furthermore, from 2007 till 2009 he was Senior Advisor to the German Government on issues related to the Presidency of the Bureau of the Conference of the Parties to the CBD and other UN-related biodiversity issues. From 2010 till 2014 he was the Senior Advisor to the Director of the Division on Environmental Law and Conventions (DELC) at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), based in Nairobi (Kenya). On 1st April 2014 Carlos took over his new responsibilities as Deputy Secretary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).