Climate Glossary

There are so many terms in and around the fight against the climate crisis that we decided to collect and explain them.

There are so many terms in and around the fight against the climate crisis that we decided to collect and explain them.
Please shoot us an email if something’s missing! 🙂

TermExplanation
1.5CGlobally agreed-upon (in the Paris Agreement) goal to limit global heating to 1.5C (centigrade) as compared to pre-industrial levels. As of 2020 we are already beyond 1.1C heating.
BiodiversityThe variety and variability of life on Earth. A measure of variation at the genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Loss of biodiversity makes ecosystems more likely to catastrophically fail when put under stress.
AFOLUThe Agriculture, Forestry Other Land Use sector
CO2eTo assess warming impact of different Greenhouse Gases in a single number, they can be converted, for example Methane has 34x the impact of CO2 over a time of 100 years. Nitrous Oxide is 298 timess more powerful than CO2.
COP / COP25, …Usually refers to the yearly climate conferences organized by UNFCCC. In general a Conference of the Parties is the governing body of an international convention.
CRFThe Common Reporting Format is standard set by UNFCCC for the representation of quantitative data in tables.
DeforestationThe removal of a forest from land. Results in habitat damage, biodiversity loss, aridity, extinction, changes to climatic conditions, desertification, and displacement of populations.
DisclosureRefers to companies creating GHG Inventories and disclosing their inventory to investors as part of their regular reporting. Increasingly requested by investors, especially pension and sovereign wealth funds to Divest and reallocate money based on climate risk and impact.
Divestment
ESGEnvironmental, Social, and Governance refers to the three central factors in measuring the sustainability and societal impact of an investment in a company or business. They help to better determine the future financial performance of companies (return and risk).
FOLUStands for Forestry and other land use. Also referred to as Land use, land-use change, and forestry (LULUCF).
GHGGreenhouse Gas, causes the Greenhouse Effect. They include CO2, Methane, Nitrous Oxide and Ozone
Greenhouse EffectThe process by which radiation from a planet’s atmosphere warms the planet’s surface.
GHG InventoryDetailed information on an entity’s emissions and removals of Greenhouse Gases. For example by a country, city or company.
INDC / NDCIntended nationally determined contributions under the UNFCCC
LCOEThe Levelized cost of energy measures the cost of electricity generation over a plant’s lifetime.
Marrakech PartnershipThe Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action is a network of governments, cities, regions, businesses and investors to support the Paris Agreement.
Net Zero
NFRDThe EU’s Non-Financial Reporting Directive states requirements for companies on how to report certain risks and their impact on e.g. the climate. It’s an instrument to enforce more Disclosure by companies.
NIRNational Inventory Reports are shared by countries with the UNFCC and a containing transparent and detailed information on the country’s GHG Inventory, that is detailed information on emissions and removals of greenhouse gases by that country.
LULUCFLand use, land-use change, and forestry, also refered to as Forestry and other land use (FOLU)
IPCCThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an intergovernmental body of the United Nations that is dedicated to providing the world with objective, scientific information relevant to understanding the climate crisis, its impacts, risks, and possible responses. Established in 1988 by WMO and UNEP.
Paris AgreementAgreed upon during COP21 in Paris. Binding commitment by 189 countries to limit global heating to 1.5C
REDDA UN program to reduce forest emissions and enhance carbon stock in forests. It’s the basis of REDD+.
REDD+A voluntary initiative to allow emitting countries to balance out their emissions by supporting developing countries in protecting and expanding their forests.
SDGUN Sustainable Development Goal
TCFDTask Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures
UNEPThe United Nations Environment Programme
UNFCCCThe United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an international treaty to stabilize Greenhouse Gas concentrations to prevent dangerous anthropocentric interference with the climate system.
Warming StripesCharts using only color to convey heating trends in global surface temperature. Make trends easier to grasp without distracting articacts or smoothing.
WMOWorld Meteorological Organization

For the curious, there is a good glossary by the BBC but it doesn’t seem to have been updated since 2014.

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