What if the IPCC had not been around?
Frankly, our knowledge base would have been very, very poor. The IPCC's first two assessment reports, in the '90s, had a major impact on framing the Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Kyoto Protocol. The third report, in 2001, had an impact on people who had earlier not considered adapting to climate change. The fourth report has had an explosion of interest and coverage. IPCC's major achievement has been to create an enormous amount of understanding and awareness across society as a whole.
Has it really shifted the goalposts?
It has certainly created a sense of urgency, highlighted the need for action. To give you an indicator, at a meeting organised by the UN Secretary-General on September 24, 80 heads of state and government spent an entire day talking about climate change. It could never have happened a year ago. It undoubtedly happened because in the last 7 or 8 months since we began bringing out our fourth assessment report, there has been a total shift in perception, and a change in level...