Glossary - English

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adaptation to climate change

The process of preparing to cope with living in a changing climate, e.g. increased rainfall , higher temperatures, scarce water, or more frequent storms.


carbon leakage

The part of emission reductions in Annex B countries (countries that have their greenhouse gas emissions capped under the Kyoto Protocol) offset by an increase in emissions in non-constrained countries above their baseline levels.


carbon market

Trading system through which countries may buy or sell units of greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to meet their national limits on emissions, either under the Kyoto Protocol or under other agreements, such as that among Member States of the European Union.


carbon offset

A unit of carbon dioxide equivalent that is reduced, avoided, or sequestered to compensate for emissions occurring elsewhere.


certified emission reduction unit (CER)

Unit generated from a Clean Development Mechanism project activity, certifying an emission reduction of one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent.


Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

Defined in Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, a mechanism allowing a country with an emission reduction or emission limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission reduction project in developing countries.


climate change

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 observed over comparable time periods.


climate change mitigation

Action to reduce the net amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, and thus help to slow down the process of climate change resulting from human activities.


commitment period

Five-year period in which the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol undertake to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


emission allowance

Within the context of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), the entitlement to emit a tonne of carbon dioxide or an amount of any other greenhouse gas with an equivalent global warming potential during a specified period.


emission reduction unit (ERU)

Unit generated from a Joint Implementation activity, certifying an emission reduction of one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent.


emissions reduction - emissions abatement

Reduction in emissions (e.g. of greenhouse gases).


emissions trading

A market-based approach to achieving environmental objectives that allows those reducing e.g. greenhouse gas emissions below what is required to use or trade the excess reductions to offset emissions at another source inside or outside the country.


EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)

Company-level 'cap-and-trade' system of allowances for emitting carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, launched by the EU at the beginning of 2005.


Green Climate Fund

Operating entity provided for under the Copenhagen Accord to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries related to mitigation.


greenhouse gas (GHG)

A gas, such as water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), that absorbs and re-emits infrared radiation, warming the Earth’s surface and contributing to climate change.


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

A scientific intergovernmental body established to provide decision-makers and others interested in climate change with an objective source of information about climate change.


Joint Implementation (JI)

Mechanism defined in Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol, which allows a country with an emission reduction or limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to earn emission reduction units from an emission reduction or emission removal project in another Annex B Party, each equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide, which can be counted towards meeting its Kyoto target.


Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations - Framework Convention on Climate Change - Kyoto Protocol

An international agreement, linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits industrialised countries to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


low-carbon technology

Technology which results in reduced emissions of carbon dioxide compared with conventional technology.


sink

Any process, activity or mechanism which removes a greenhouse gas, an aerosol or a precursor of a greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.