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Agrawala, Shardul. 1997. "Explaining the Evolution of the IPCC Structure and Process." Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs (BCSIA) Discussion Paper E-97-05. Cambridge, MA: Environment and Natural Resources Program, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; also International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis Interim Report IR-97-032/August.

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Abstract

Climate change is a problem which is global both in terms of causes and consequences. The uncertainties are large and likely to persist. Meanwhile, the political and economic stakes of both action and inaction are much higher than those in other transboundary concerns such as acid rain and ozone depletion. The public policy impact of scientific opinions on climate change, therefore, not only depends upon what is being said, but also, who is advancing those conclusions and how they were arrived at. This was the rationale behind the setting up of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988. In the years since, the IPCC has attempted to walk the tightrope of being scientifically sound and politically correct. This paper examines the processes which led to its creation and how it has evolved over two assessment cycles. The paper attempts to address the question of whether such an assessment set-up was necessary, if indeed it has been relevant, and what some indicators might be to evaluate the performance of the IPCC.


Subsequent History

· Revised version published in the Climatic Change journal (Abstract)
New Citation: Agrawala, Shardul. 1998. "Context and Early Origins of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." Climatic Change 39: 605-620.
· Revised version published in the Climatic Change journal (Abstract)
New Citation: Agrawala, Shardul. 1998. "Structural and Process History of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change." Climatic Change 39: 621-642.
· Revised version published in the Global Environmental Change journal (Abstract)
New Citation: Agrawala, Shardul. 1999. "Early Science-Policy Interactions in Climate Change: Lessons from the Advisory Group on Greenhouse Gases." Global Environmental Change: Human and Policy Dimensions 9(2): 157.

 

 
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