Reduction in the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions
The tons of greenhouse gases, in CO2 equivalents, that a country is allowed to emit during a commitment period (the first period is 2008-2012)
Projects registered as carbon reduction projects under the Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation Mechanism must cause a drop in emissions further to those which would have occurred in the absence of these mechanisms
Establishing and growing forests to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere on land which has not been forested in recent history.
Annex I Countries
The 40 countries plus the European Economic Community listed in Annex I of the UNFCCC that agreed to try to limit their GHG emissions. They are developed countries.
Emissions that would have been emitted under a business as usual scenario but were avoided due to the implementation of an emission reduction project.
Baseline and Baseline Scenario
The baseline represents the forecast emissions of a company, business unit or project, using a business as usual scenario i.e. expected emissions if the firm did not implement emission reduction activities. This forecast incorporates the economic, financial, technological, regulatory and political circumstances within which a firm operates.
Cap and Trade
The Cap and Trade system involves trading of emission allowances, where the total allowance is strictly limited or 'capped'. A regulatory authority established the cap which is usually considerably lower than the historic level of emissions.
Carbon Dioxide Equivalent (CO2eq)
The universal unit of measurement used to indicate the global warming potential (GWP) of each of the 6 greenhouse gases. It is used to evaluate the impacts of releasing (or avoiding the release of) different greenhouse gases.
Carbon Dioxide or CO2
A naturally occurring gas that is a by-product of burning fossil fuels and biomass, land use changes and other industrial processes. Carbon dioxide is the reference gas against which other greenhouse gases are measured.
Projects that capture and store carbon in a manner that prevents it from being released into the atmosphere for a specified period of time, the storage area is commonly referred to as a carbon sink. Carbon Sequestration projects include:
- Capture in forests
- Land Conservation
- Soil Conservation & Land Use
- Waste CO2 Recovery and Injection into Deep wells
A carbon sink is a reservoir that can absorb or “sequester” carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Forests are the most common form of sink, as well as soils, peat, permafrost, ocean water and carbonate deposits in the deep ocean.
A surcharge or levy on the carbon content of oil, coal, and/or gas to discourage the use of fossil fuels, with the aim of reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
Certified Emission Reductions (CERs)
Annex I investors in Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects can earn Certified emission reduction units (CERs) for the amount of greenhouse emission reductions achieved by their CDM projects, provided they meet certain eligibility criteria
CFCs are organic compounds that contain carbon, chlorine, and fluorine atoms. They are widely used as coolants in refrigeration and air conditioners, as solvents in cleaners, and as propellants in aerosols. CFCs are the main cause of stratospheric ozone depletion. One kilogram of the most commonly used CFCs may have a direct effect on climate thousands of times greater than that of one kilogram of CO2. However, because CFCs also destroy ozone - itself a greenhouse gas - the actual effect on the climate is unclear.
Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
The CDM is a mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol for reducing emissions through implementing projects in developing countries. The CDM aims to meet two main objectives: to address the sustainable development needs of the host country, and to increase the opportunities available to reduce emissions
A change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability over comparable time periods
The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol runs from 2008 to 2012 inclusive. It is planned to be followed by subsequent commitment periods.
Conference of Parties (COP)
The COP is the overall managing body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The COP which consists of more than 170 nations that ratified or acceded to the Framework Convention on Climate Change is responsible for promoting and reviewing the implementation of the Convention.
Removing of forested areas through cutting or burning to provide agricultural land, residential or industrial building sites, roads etc., or harvesting trees for building or fuel.
Industrialised countries (identified in Annex I and Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol).
Countries in the process of industrialisation and have less access to resources for addressing economic and environmental problems.
A market mechanism that allows emitters (countries, companies or facilities) to buy emissions from or sell emissions to other emitters.
Carbon-based fuels that include coal, petroleum, natural gas and oil.
The continuous gradual rise of the earth's surface temperature caused by the greenhouse effect and responsible for changes in global climate patterns (see also Climate Change).
Global Warming Potential (GWP)
An index that compares the relative potential of the 6 greenhouse gases to contribute to global warming The impact of all other greenhouse gases are compared with carbon dioxide (CO2) i.e Carbon dioxide has a GWP of 1, Methane has a GWP of 23. The latest officially released GWP figures are available from the IPCC in their publication Climate Change 2001: The Scientific Basis. ( )
The impact of human activities cause certain gases to be released and trapped in to the Earth's atmosphere. The gases absorb the sun's energy and cause the earth to warm at a faster rate than usual. It is named after the phenomena of glass trapping heat in a greenhouse.
Greenhouse gases are those air emissions that contribute to global warming including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O)and other gases generated during industrial processes, including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These gases are measured in terms their global warming potential and are reported in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-e) or million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents (MMTCDE). HFCs, PFCs and SF6 are the most heat-absorbent of the greenhouse gases listed above, with Global Warming Potentials of up to 11,700 for HFC-23 and 23,900 for SF6, implying that they trap 11,700 and 23,900 times more heat than carbon dioxide. The 100-year global warming potential for methane and nitrous oxide is 21 and 310 respectively.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) formed the IPCC in 1988. The IPCC represents the work of over 2,000 scientists, mainly in the atmospheric sciences, but also comprising social, economic and other environmental components potentially impacted by climate change. The IPCC doesn’t conduct original research or monitors climate-related data, but its assessment reports and technical papers play an important role in the creation of climate change policies worldwide. The IPCC played a role in establishing the UNFCCC or the Convention.
Joint Implementation (JI)
A mechanism developed under the Kyoto Protocol (KP) designed to assist developed countries in meeting their emission reduction targets through joint projects with other developed countries
National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA)
NAPAs (national adaptation programmes of action) provide a process for to identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs with regard to adaptation to climate change.
The process by which energy-efficient or low emission intensive technologies developed by industrialised nations are made available to less industrialised nations. Technology transfer may occur through the sale of technology by private entities, through government programs, non-profit arrangements, or other means.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
The UNFCCC was established in June 1992 with the aim of stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (man-made) interference with the climate system within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened, and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner. The UNFCCC is the governing body for international negotiations.