Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. An international organization established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The IPCC surveys world-wide scientific and technical literature and publishes assessment reports that are widely recognized as the most credible existing sources of current state knowledge on climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. The IPCC is open to all member states of the UN and the WMO, and is independent of the UNFCCC. The IPCC can attend as an observer at sessions of the COP and its subsidiary bodies.The COP receives inputs from the IPCC (through its assessment reports) and uses IPCC data and information as a baseline on the state of knowledge on climate change when making its science based decisions.