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A Glossary of Climate Terms

By Amigos IAS

TermDescription
COP (Conference of the Parties)·       International climate meeting organized annually by the United Nations.

·       Involves representatives from 198 countries that are parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

·       Aims to address and coordinate global efforts to combat climate change.

Kyoto Protocol·       International treaty (1997-2020) that set obligations for industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

·       Replaced by the Paris Agreement as the primary international treaty for climate action.

Paris Agreement·       Adopted in 2015 at COP21, legally binding 195 nations to combat climate change and limit global temperature rise.

·      Aims to keep global temperature increase “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Glasgow Pact (COP26)·       Agreed at COP26 in Glasgow, calling for the phase-down of coal and the phase-out of fossil fuels.

·       Resolved deadlock over carbon markets.

Carbon Markets·       Trading systems where carbon credits are bought and sold.

·       Allow countries or industries to earn credits for exceeding emission reduction targets.

·       Credits can be traded and used to meet reduction targets.

Net Zero·       State where a country’s emissions entering the environment equal greenhouse gases being removed.

·       Involves creating carbon sinks or using technologies for carbon dioxide removal.

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS)Process of capturing and trapping carbon dioxide, often used at fossil fuel plants to prevent emissions.
Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)Extends CCS by using captured carbon in the production of goods like fuels, plastics, or concrete.
Geo-engineering·       Deliberate large-scale interventions in Earth’s systems to address climate change.

·       Includes techniques like carbon dioxide removal (CDR) with effectiveness and side effects under debate.

IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)UN body assessing science related to climate change, providing reports on the state of knowledge.
Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)Commitments by each country under the Paris Agreement to reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts.
National Adaptation Plans (NAPs)Plans helping countries respond to present and future climate impacts, enhancing resilience.
Global StocktakeFive-year review where countries assess progress in the fight against climate change.
Triple Renewable EnergyInternational Energy Agency’s (IEA) call to triple global renewable capacity by 2030 to achieve net-zero goals.
Just TransitionShift to a low-carbon or net-zero economy without compromising worker rights and community needs.
Common but Differentiated Responsibilities (CBDR)International law principle recognizing different capabilities and responsibilities of countries to address environmental problems like climate change.
Loss and Damage·       Refers to unavoidable social and financial impacts caused by extreme weather events.

·       COP27 established a fund to provide financial help to countries affected by climate disasters.

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