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NEW ENVIRONMENTAL TERMS - A GLOSSARY

PUBLISHED BY: SURENDER KUMAR
OCTOBER 25, 2012

   
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ANNEX 1 COUNTRIES

Governments are separated into two categories: developed countries, called Annex 1 countries (which have accepted strict GHG emission reduction obligations). Developing countries are Non-Annex Countries with no GHG emission reduction obligations.

 

 

 

BIODIVERSITY

The variety of life on the Earth, including diversity at the genetic level among species, ecosystems and habitats. It includes diversity in abundance, distribution and behaviour. Biodiversity also includes diversity of genes, other species and ecosystems.

 

 

 

BIOFUELS

Fuel obtained from dry organic matter or combustible oils from plants, such as alcohol from fermented sugar, black liquor from the paper manufacturing process, wood and soybean oil.

 

 

 

BIOGAS

Methane-rich gas, produced by fermenting animal dung, human sewage or crop residues in an airtight container.

 

 

 

BIOMASS

Organic material, on ground and below it, and both living and dead, such as trees, crops, grasses, tree litter and roots.

 

 

 

BIOME

The largest unit of ecosystem classification that is convenient to recognize below the global level. Terrestrial biomes are usually based on dominant vegetation structure ( e.g. forest and grassland). Ecosystems in a biome function almost similarly, though they may have very different specie composition.

 

 

 

CARBON CREDITS

The concept of Carbon Credit is rooted in the growing awareness of the need for pollution control. The Protocol agreed on certain 'caps' on the maximum amount of greenhouse gases for developed and developing countries.

 

 

Carbon Credits are certificates awarded to countries that successfully reduce the emissions causing global warming. Carbon Credits are measured in units of Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). Each CER is equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide reduction. India has emerged as a world leader in reduction of greenhouse gases by adopting Clean Development Mechanisms (CDMs). The idea of Carbon Credit is to allow market mechanisms to steer industrial processes in the direction of low emissions.

 

 

 

CARBON FOOTPRINT

A carbon footprint is a barometer of the effect our activities have on the environment, and in particular, climate change. It refers to the amount of greenhouse gases produced in our daily lives through burning fossil fuels. It is a measurement of all greenhouse gases in terms of tonnes or kg of CO2 equivalent.

 

 

 

GREEN TEST

A green test determines whether a product is as energy-efficient as possible or not. The test focuses on certified products based on power efficiency, power usage,  heat dissipation, cooling requirements, energy efficiency etc.

 

 

 

CARBON EMISSION

Economic development means consumption of energy producing materials which is not possible without carbon emission in most cases. The IPCC reports that the world has already burnt half the fossil fuels to bring about a catastrophic 2°C rise in global temperature i.e. about half a trillion ton of carbon has been consumed since the Industrial Revolution.

 

 

Scientists believe that the total burnt amount must be kept to below a trillion ton, a figure which will be reached in 40 years, given the current consumption. A trillion ton of carbon burnt would warm the globe by 1.6° - 2.6°C. CO2 may be the greatest contributor to global warming, but the next is certainly black carbon. While carbon dioxide is responsible for 40% of the earth's warming, black carbon is responsible for 12%. Black Carbon emanates from diesel engines, coal plants and cook stoves. Soot particles warm the air and melt ice.

 

 

 

CARBON MARKET

The set of institutions, norms, registration systems and trading entities that has emerged from the Kyoto Protocol. The treaty fixes total emission limits by the world's major economies, as a prescribed number of "emission units." The protocol also allows countries that have emissions units to spare - emissions permitted but not "used" -- to sell this excess capacity to those with more than targeted emissions. This is called the "carbon market" because carbon dioxide is the most common greenhouse gas and because other greenhouse gas emissions will be recorded by their "carbon dioxide equivalents."

 

 

 

CLEAN TECHNOLOGY

Manufacturing process or technology that reduces pollution or waste, energy or material use in comparison to the technology it replaces.

 

 

 

GREEN TAX

A tax with a potentially positive impact on the environment. It includes energy taxes, transport taxes, and taxes on pollution and resources. Also called environmental taxes. They are meant to reduce environmental burden by hiking prices, and by shifting taxation from labour and capital to energy and natural resources.



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