Environmental Jargon

Jargon Booth

StoryAbsolute Metric: one of three metrics used to rank the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme participants in the performance league table during the introductory phase. The score is based on the participant’s percentage reduction or increase of absolute emissions in a given year, relative to the group’s average emissions over the preceding 5 years.
Aerosols: Small suspended particles in a gas. Aerosols range in size from 1nm molecules to 100øm pollen grains. Suspended particles can be liquids. The minute droplets or particles allow entry to the body via the respiratory tract and widespread contamination of clothing, skin & eyes.
Agenda 21: A global action plan to reconcile future developments with environmental imperatives. The Rio Declaration (1992) identifies local action as the key to success for Agenda 21.
Aldersgate Group: Lobbies government on behalf of business. Represents that business can be profitable and ethical in its environmental impact.
Allowance: GHG emission rights obtained from the government by participants in mandatory cap and trade schemes like the EU-ETS, CRC, & RGGI and representing the right to emit one tonne of CO2e
Annex 1 Countries: the industrialised countries and “economies in transition” listed in Annex 1 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change(UNFCC)
Annex B Countries: the 39 industrialised countries listed in Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol that agreed to binding emissions reductions during the Kyoto Protocol negotiations> Annex 1 and Annex B are used interchangeably.
Aspects: Elements of an organisation’s activities that can interact with the environment. E.g.: air emissions, discharges to water or waste. Significant aspect: an aspect that has potential for significant impact.
Baseline: the volume of greenhouse gas emissions based on consumption of energy, travel and other GHG sources. Used to establish a starting point at which to measure and target reductions against.
Benchmark: The value for an indicator that has some defined environmental significance (scientific) or the value for an indicator that demonstrates achievement of best practice(corporate).
BEO: The Best Environmental Option, which in relation to releases to the environment of prescribed processes, provides the greatest benefit or least damage to the environment as a whole over the short or long term, irrespective of cost.
Biodiversity: as defined by the USA office of Technology Assessment (1987): Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability of Living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur. Diversity can be defined as the number of items and relative frequency.
Carbon Credit: an instrument created to represent one metric tonne of CO2e avoided or removed by a carbon reducing project.
Carbon Dioxide equivalent (CO2e): a metric used to compare the relative global warming potential of different greenhouse gases. EG: methane is 21 time more potent than CO2, making I tonne of methane equal to 21 tonnes CO2e.

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