A Critical Assessment of the IPCC

Today, my colleague Kari De Pryck and I submitted our completed book manuscript about the IPCC to Cambridge University Press. This book will appear, open-access, in the autumn as … De Pryck, K. and Hulme, M. (eds.) (2022) A Critical Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press.

The edited book introduces undergraduate and graduate students, as well as research scholars and policy-advisors and advocates, to the knowledge-making practices, products and impacts of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. For over 30 years, the IPCC has played a key role in the construction of global climate knowledge and influenced the politics of climate change in many ways.

And yet to date, there is no single volume book which deals comprehensively with the institution.

So the objective of our book is twofold. First, it offers a comprehensive introduction to a field of social enquiry that, after more than 30 years of multidisciplinary research on the institution, can now be called ‘IPCC studies’. Second, based on these studies, it develops a critical assessment of the epistemic, cultural, social, ethical and political norms and practices guiding the IPCC and its transnational processes of climate knowledge production at the global level. Our critical assessment of the IPCC also has value for understanding other global environmental assessments.

The book is organised around five themes: the origin and governance of the IPCC; the actors who participate in its work; the expertise that is brought into the assessment process; the processes through which the assessments are produced and the norms that guide them; and the influence of its work on different audiences.

We enlisted over 30 social scientists from around the world to contribute to the book, all of whom have studied and published widely about the IPCC for many years — these include Tora Skodvin, Paul Edwards, Jessy O’Reilly, Silke Beck, Jean Carlos Miguel, Béatrice Cointe, Yulia Yamineva and Rolf Lidskog.

Mike Hulme, 4 March 2022