Anthropogenic emissions

Emissions of greenhouse gases caused by human activities. These include: burning fossil fuels, deforestation land use change.

Climate Change

The long term shifts in the planet’s temperatures and weather patterns.

Carbon footprint

The total amount of carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere as a result of an event, an individual or company’s activities.

Carbon neutral

Carbon neutral means that the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is balanced, equal to, by the amount of carbon dioxide being removed from the atmosphere.

Carbon offsetting

The action or process that compensates the carbon emissions that are generated elsewhere by an organisation or individual. Organisations can offset their carbon emissions by supporting certified carbon reduction projects, such as land restoration projects, renewable energy projects and energy efficiency projects.

Carbon Sinks

Anything that absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases. For example plants, soil and the ocean.

Conference of the Parties (COP)

It is the decision making body of the UN Climate Change Convention (UNFCCC). It includes representatives from all countries that are signatories and they meet annually.


The process of reducing or removing carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere through the use of low carbon power sources, such as renewable energy sources.

Energy transition

It refers to the shift of the global energy sector from fossil fuel based energy production and consumption to renewable energy sources.

Fossil Fuels

A natural fuel which is formed from decomposing plants and animals that can be used as a source of energy. Energy sources include oil, coal and natural gas.

Global Warming

The long-term heating of Earth’s climate system observed since the pre-industrial period due to human activities, primarily from fossil fuels.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Any gas that has the property of absorbing infrared radiation (heat energy) emitted from the Earth’s surface and reradiating it back to the Earth’s surface. Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and water vapour are the most common.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Established in 1988 by the UN Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation. It is the UN body for assessing the science related to climate change and provides governments at all levels with scientific information that they can use to develop climate policies.

Just Transition

Transitioning to a greener more sustainable economy in a way that is fair to everyone.


A state in which there is overall balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere (through human activities) and the amount of greenhouse gas emissions removed from the atmosphere.

Renewable Energy

Energy which is generated from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished, such as wind, tidal and solar power.


Refers to the ability to meet our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. It covers three areas: economic, environment and social.

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

The Sustainable Development Goals consist of 17 agreed goals and were adopted by the UN in 2015. The aim of the SDGs is to guide development to ensure there is a balance between social, economic and environmental sustainability.