30 years of international climate policy
WHRC has a long and rich history of impacting international climate policy. Through the years, our scientists have helped to discover and implement strategies for climate change mitigation. We are proud of our past and more motivated than ever to do our part in identifying and pursuing opportunities for conservation, restoration and economic development around the world.
WHRC Ranked As A Top Influential Climate Change Think Tank 3rd Year
The International Center for Climate Governance ranks WHRC the world’s most influential Climate Change Think Tank for a third straight year.
WHRC again ranked top climate change think tank
The International Center for Climate Governance again ranks WHRC the world’s most influential Climate Change Think Tank.
COP21: Paris Agreement
Paris, France: 196 countries sign the Paris Agreement aimed to limit global warming to less than 2oC.
WHRC ranked world’s most influential Climate Change Think Tank
The International Center for Climate Governance ranks WHRC the world’s most influential Climate Change Think Tank of 2014.
IPCC Fifth Assessment Report
WHRC scientists contribute to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report.
COP21: Lima Accord
Lima, Peru: The goal of COP20 is the creation a draft agreement requiring emissions reductions by all signatories in advance of COP21. The resulting Lima Accord commits all signatories to create national emissions reduction plans. WHRC scientists participate in four official side events.
WHRC ranked as a top influential climate change think tank
WHRC is ranked as one of the world’s top three most influential Climate Change Think Tanks by the International Center for Climate Governance.
Warsaw, Poland: COP19 adopts decisions to further advance the Durban Platform, the Green Climate Fund and Long-Term Finance, and the Warsaw Framework for REDD+.
COP18: Doha Amendment
Doha, Qatar: The Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol is adopted.
Durban, South Africa: COP17 seeks to resolve the relationship between the Kyoto Protocol and the global climate change agreement. WHRC participates in discussions focused on the global mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+).
Cancun, Mexico: COP16 creates the Green Climate Fund to provide financing for climate-friendly projects in developing countries.
Copenhagen, Denmark: seeks to attain a comprehensive policy framework for responding to climate change on a global scale. WHRC assembles a background document to assess REDD readiness, highlighting potential gaps and synergies and encouraging collaboration and partnerships in all facets of readiness efforts.
Poznan, Poland: COP14 makes progress on issues of concern to developing nations, including reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). WHRC gives presentations and leads discussions on four reports related to REDD.
Nobel Peace Prize
Two WHRC scientists are awarded a portion of the Nobel Peace Prize through participation in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
IPCC Fourth Assessment Report
WHRC scientists contribute to the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
Bali, Indonesia: COP13 negotiations move toward a powerful new mechanism to compensate tropical countries for their reductions of greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). WHRC scientists present a report on the Democratic Republic of Congo that draws controversy, highlighting that the majority of carbon emissions come from smallholders rather than industrial interests.
COP12: climate change mitigation policies
Nairobi, Kenya: COP12 focuses on climate change mitigation policies that work synergistically with development goals.
Montreal, Canada: COP11 establishes an Ad Hoc Working Group on the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP).
Buenos Aires, Argentina: Among other issues, the Parties address and adopt decisions on issues relating to land use, land-use change and forestry.
COP9: Clean Development Mechanism
Milan, Italy: COP9 is remembered as the "Forest COP." Consensus is reached on carbon sinks under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM.)
COP8: Delhi Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development
New Delhi, India: COP8 adopts the Delhi Declaration on Climate Change and Sustainable Development.
IPCC Third Assessment Report
WHRC scientists contribute to the IPCC Third Assessment Report.
Marrakesh, Morocco: COP7 seeks to finalize agreement on the operational details for commitments on reducing emissions of greenhouse gases under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
The Hague, Netherlands: WHRC moderates the discussion "Capacity-Building Needs of Developing Countries with a focus on the Implementation for the Kyoto Protocol."
Consortium for North-South Dialogue/Partnership for Climate Change
Tenth session of the Subsidiary Bodies in Bonn, Germany: WHRC and several other institutions form the Consortium for North-South Dialogue/Partnership for Climate Change.
Bonn, Germany: COP5 delegates continue work on preparing for the future entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. WHRC experts participate in special side events.
Buenos Aires, Argentina: In preparation for COP4, WHRC co-organizes a workshop to help government delegates formulate priorities and exchange ideas with experts.
COP3: Kyoto Protocol
Kyoto, Japan: The UNFCCC adopts the Kyoto Protocol, committing developed and developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. WHRC co-organizes a panel discussion with experts from Asia’s leading policy research institutions.
COP2 – Geneva Declaration
Geneva, Switzerland: COP2 concludes with the "Geneva Declaration," calling for significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. WHRC endeavors to develop additional policy dialogues after the meeting to strengthen ongoing efforts at policy.
IPCC uses “bookkeeping model”
The IPCC guidelines use a simplified version of the WHRC "bookkeeping model" for calculating carbon emissions from land-use change.
Berlin, Germany: WHRC works with governmental delegates at the first Conference of the Parties (COP1) where the Berlin Mandate lays the groundwork for the Kyoto Protocol, committing industrialized nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
WHRC leads the establishment of the World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development.
Rio Earth Summit
WHRC participates in the Rio Earth Summit.
The INC text is adopted and the UNFCCC established.
First meeting of the INC
WHRC takes part in the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) to draft the text of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
First IPCC Assessment Report
The IPCC releases its first Assessment Report, with contributions from WHRC scientists.
The Nairobi Declaration
WHRC and the African Centre for Technology Studies organize an international conference on “Global Warming and Climate Change: African Perspectives,” and issue the Nairobi Declaration.
Conference in Brazil
WHRC and the Universidade de Sao Paulo organize the “Regional Conference on Global Warming and Sustainable Development” in São Paulo, Brazil.
WHRC works with the IPCC to establish the Climate Action Network (CAN) to facilitate co-operation of national and international nongovernmental organizations.
International conference in India
WHRC, the Tata Energy Research Institute, the United Nations Environment Program, and the World Resources Institute organize an international conference in New Delhi, India, "Global Warming and Climate Change: Perspectives from Developing Countries."
WHRC convenes intl conference
WHRC convenes an international conference on “Steps towards an international convention stabilizing the composition of the atmosphere.”
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is established.
Woods Hole Research Center is established as an independent, non-profit research institute.
Bookkeeping model introduced
WHRC scientist first articulates the "bookkeeping model," still used today to calculate the emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere from deforestation and forest degradation.
First World Climate Conference
First World Climate Conference is held in Geneva and sponsored by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Essentially a scientific conference, it was attended by scientists from a wide range of disciplines. In addition to the main plenary sessions, the conference organized four working groups to look into climate data, the identification of climate topics, integrated impact studies, and research on climate variability and change.
Landmark paper in Science
Science magazine publishes a landmark paper led by WHRC founder George M. Woodwell. The study shows that human-induced land-use change might be an important source of CO2 in the atmosphere. A heated debate ensues and the research agenda takes on the important task of developing methodologies to accurately quantify CO2 emissions from land-use change.