Over the years, the UNFCCC and its 197 parties benefited from the assessment reports of the IPCC as a basis for negotiation and to underline the need for progress. The material in AR2 supported the adoption of the Kyoto Protocol while the 2007 AR4 focused on limiting warming to 2°C, a target also mentioned in the Copenhagen Accord. By the fifth assessment report (AR5), the underlying science was able to identify causal links to a high certainty and included projections underlining key risks due to climate change impacts. The publication of AR5 during 2013 and 2014, and the projections therein, provided a solid foundation to advance towards adoption of the Paris Agreement at COP21 in Paris in 2015. On the same occasion, the UNFCCC requested a special report from the IPCC on ‘the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre–industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emissions pathways’, which was delivered in 2018, as seen in the timeline below.
Timeline of IPCC scientific reports publications in support of policy-making
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