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IPIECA was established following a request from the then newly established United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1974, for the oil and gas industry to form channels of communication with UNEP. IPIECA remains the primary channel of communication and representative of the global oil and gas industry with UNEP and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). IPIECA's consultative status has allowed it to build strong partnerships with a number of UN organizations including, the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the United Nations Working Group on Human Rights, and the United Nations Development Programme.

IPIECA has also built partnerships with many stakeholders and facilitates the oil and gas industry's relationships with inter-governmental organizations, academia and NGOs. Moving forward IPIECA and its members will continue to forge alliances and form partnerships with key organizations.


Working in partnership with The United Nations Environment Programmes’ (UNEP) Partnership for Clean Fuels and Vehicles (PCFV), IPIECA assists the oil and gas industry in implementing downstream strategies and resources for phasing out leaded gasoline. Working with over 70 different organizations, this partnership has reduced leaded petrol use from 82 countries to 6.


IPIECA works closely with the United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) developing guidance, and in the delivery of key biodiversity ecosystem services issues across the oil and gas industry. IPIECA also works with the Proteus Partnership which provides companies with the biodiversity information needed for better informed decisions and to support the development and improvement of key global biodiversity resources.


IPIECA works with the IMO to develop global oil spill preparedness and response capacity under the umbrella programme the Global Initiative (GI). IPIECA works closely with the IMO Marine Environment Protection Committee on issues related to oil spill preparedness and response and fuel quality. 


IPIECA, the International Council on Mining and Metal (ICMM) and the Equator Principles Association formed the Cross Sector Biodiversity Initiative (CSBI) in 2013. CSBI develops guidance and practical tools for biodiversity conservation.


The Voluntary Principles for Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) are a set of guiding principles, designed specifically for extractive industries, to promote respect for human rights in all security operations. IPIECA is an observer to the VPSHR and attends the annual plenary meeting.