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This chapter explores the role of governments in the IPCC, how this is theorised, and how government participation in the organisation has changed over time. One of the most distinctive features of the IPCC is its intergovernmental character. While some scholars criticise government membership of the IPCC, many IPCC actors see this as key to ensuring the political relevance of the assessment. But what does government membership mean? What do member governments do in the organisation? And who are IPCC delegates and focal points? This chapter addresses these questions and identifies how member governments have deepened their involvement in the IPCC over time as their knowledge has grown and as the stakes in climate politics have risen. However, participation between countries remains uneven and the chapter explores how concerns about developing countries’ capacity to contribute has shaped the IPCC and assessments of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationA Critical Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
EditorsKari De Pryck, Mike Hulme
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781009082099
ISBN (Print)9781316514276
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2022


  • IPCC
  • Climate Change
  • Governments
  • boundary organization
  • epistemic community


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