100 Top Carbon and Climate Acronyms

Illustration of a dictionary alongside the acronym TLA, which stands for "Three Letter Acronym" - Ha!

From A to Z (AHU - Air Handling Units to ZEB - Zero Energy Buildings)

A jargon-busting guide to all the top carbon and climate related acronyms out there today.

AHU: Air Handling Units

The basic function of the AHU is to take in outside air, re-condition it and supply it as fresh air to a building.

AQI: Air Quality Index

An index that shows changes in the amount of pollution in the air.

BAP: Biodiversity Action Plan

An internationally recognised program addressing threatened species and habitats. It is designed to protect and restore biological systems.

BEP: Best Environmental Practice

The application of the most appropriate combination of environmental control measures and strategies.

BER: Building Energy Rating

An energy label with accompanying advisory report for homes. The rating is a simple A to G scale.

BINGO: Business and Industry Non-Governmental Organisations

A non-governmental organisation set up by business or industry groups to represent their collective interests.

BTU: British Thermal Unit

Defined as the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Farenheit.

CAFÉ: Clean Air for Europe

EU package to further reduce emissions of air pollutants until 2030.

CAP: Common Agricultural Policy (European Union)

A partnership between agriculture and society, and between Europe and its farmers.

CCS: Carbon Capture Storage

The process of capturing and storing carbon dioxide (CO2) before it is released into the atmosphere.

CDP: Carbon Disclosure Project

An international non-profit organisation based in the United Kingdom, Japan, India, China, Germany and the United States of America that helps companies and cities disclose their environmental impact.

CDSB: Climate Disclosure Standards Board

A non-profit organisation working to provide material information for investors and financial markets through the integration of climate change-related information into mainstream financial reporting.

CFC: Chlorofluorocarbon

Nontoxic, non-flammable chemicals containing atoms of carbon, chlorine, and fluorine.

CH4: Methane

A colourless, odourless and highly potent greenhouse gas, composed of carbon and hydrogen.

CHP: Combined Heat and Power

An energy efficient technology that generates electricity and captures the heat that would otherwise be wasted to provide useful thermal energy, such as steam or hot water.

CNG: Compressed Natural Gas

Natural gas that is compressed to fit in the fuel tank of a Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV).

CO2: Carbon Dioxide

An important heat-trapping (greenhouse) gas, which is released through human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels.

CO2e: Carbon Dioxide Equivalent

A metric measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases on the basis of their GWP by converting amounts of other gases to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same global warming potential.

COP: Conference of the Parties

The supreme governing body of an international convention.

CSA: Critical Source Areas

Areas that deliver a disproportionally high amount of pollutants compared to other areas of a water body or sub catchment.

CSRD: Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive

Directive that aims to increase transparency on corporate performance in terms of sustainability.

DoE: Department of Environment

Government department responsible for the regulation, protection and development of natural resources.

EAP: Environmental Action Programme

Guides European environment policy.

EBM: Ecosystem-Based Management

An environmental management approach that recognises the full array of interactions within an ecosystem.

EEA : European Environment Agency

An EU agency tasked with providing sound, independent information on the environment.

EIA: Environmental Impact Assessment

The process of examining the anticipated environmental effects of a proposed project.

EIAR: Environmental Impact Assessment Report

A report or statement of the effects, if any, which the proposed project, if carried out, would have on the environment.

ELVs: Emission Limit Values

The permissible quantity of a substance contained in the waste gases from a combustion plant which may be discharged into the air during a given period.

ENGO: Environmental Non-Government Organisation

A non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the field of environmentalism.

EPA: Environmental Protection Agency

Responsible for protecting and improving the environment as a valuable asset.

EQS: Environmental Quality Standard

Set to protect receiving waters from harmful effects of contaminants.

ER: Environmental Report

The disclosure of information on the management and monitoring of the environmental impact of the extractives industries.

ERA:  Ecological Risk Assessment

Involves the assessment of the risks posed by the presence of substances released to the environment.

ERU: Emission Reduction Unit

A tradable unit representing one tonne of carbon dioxide-equivalent (tCO2-e) of emissions abatement or sequestration.

ESA: Ecosystems Services Approach

A means of convincing the public, institutions and governments of the value of the natural world.

ETS: Emissions Trading System

Market-based instruments that create incentives to reduce emissions where these are most cost-effective.

EV: Electric Vehicle

Vehicles that are either partially or fully powered on electric power.

FRMP: Flood Risk Management Plan

Explain the risk of flooding from rivers, the sea, surface water, groundwater and reservoirs.

GCF: Green Climate Fund

Aims to assist developing countries in adaptation and mitigation practices to counter climate change.

GHGs: Greenhouse Gases

Gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and warm the planet.

GI: Green Infrastructure

Aims to help solve urban and climatic challenges by building with nature.

GIS: Geographic Information Systems

A computer system for capturing, storing, checking, and displaying data related to positions on Earth's surface.

GO: Guarantee of Origin

Document that verifies that a given amount of electricity is produced with renewable sources.

GPS: Global Positioning Systems

A satellite-based radionavigation system.

GRI: Global Reporting Initiative

An international independent standards organisation that helps businesses, governments and other organizations understand and communicate their impacts on issues such as climate change.

GWP: Global Warming Potential

Developed to allow comparisons of the global warming impacts of different gases.

HAPs: Hazardous Air Pollutants

Pollutants that are known or suspected to cause cancer or other serious health effects.

HFC: Hydrofluorocarbons

Man-made organic compounds that contain fluorine and hydrogen atoms.

HNV: High Nature Value

Indicates the area where farming systems are sustaining a high level of biodiversity.

ICCP: International Climate Change Partnership

An organisation of oil and chemical companies and trade associations from around the world working to influence international climate change legislation.

IEA: International Energy Agency

Works with countries around the world to shape energy policies for a secure and sustainable future.

IEF: Important Ecological Feature

Habitats, species and ecosystems, including ecosystem function and processes that may be affected by environmental changes.

IGO: Intergovernmental Organisation

An organisation composed primarily of sovereign states, or of other organisations through formal treaties.

IMO: International Maritime Organisation

A specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping.

IPC: Integrated Pollution Control

A single integrated licence that covers all emissions from a facility and its environmental management.

IPCC: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

An intergovernmental body of the United Nations responsible for advancing knowledge on human-induced climate change.

ISO: International Standards Organisation

An international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organisations.

KVAR: Kilovolt-Ampere Reactive

A unit of measurement of reactive power.

Kwh: Kilowatt Hour

The standard unit of measurement used by energy suppliers for both electricity and gas.

LCRE: Low Carbon Renewable Energy

Energy that is generated using lower amounts of carbon emissions such as, wind, solar, hydro or nuclear power.

LULUCF: Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry

Greenhouse gas invetory sector that covers emissons and removals of greenhouse gases resulting from direct human-induced land use, land-use change, and forestry activities.

Mt: Megaton

A million tonnes, an SI unit of mass.

MWh: Megawatt Hour

Equals 1,000 kilowatts of electricity generated per hour and is used to measure electric output.

N2O: Nitrous Oxide

A colourless non-flammable gas.

NDCs: Nationally Determined Contributions

NDCs are requests for each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions under The Paris Agreement.

NBS: Nature Based Solutions

The sustainable management and use of natural features and processes to tackle socio-environmental challenges.

NCA: Natural Capital Accounting

A system for organising information about natural capital assets and ecosystem services.

NCCAF: National Climate Change Adaptation Framework

Sets out the national strategy to reduce the vulnerability of the country to the negative effects of climate change.

NECP: National Energy and Climate Plan

In order to meet the EU's new energy and climate targets for 2030, Member States are required to establish a 10-year plan.

NGOs: Non-Governmental Organisations

An organisation that generally is formed independent from government.

NGV: Natural Gas Vehicle

A vehicle that uses compressed natural gas as fuel.

NOx: Nitrogen Oxides

A generic term for the nitrogen oxides that are most relevant for air pollution.

NZEB: Nearly Zero Energy Building

A building that has a very high energy performance.

OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development

An intergovernmental economic organisation with 38 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

PFC: Perfluorocarbon

Contain only carbon and fluorine.

POP: Persistent Organic Pollutant

Organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation.

PRTR: Pollutant Release and Transfer Register

A publicly accessible database or inventory of chemicals or pollutants released to air, water and soil.

PV: Photovoltaic

The conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials.

REDD: Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation

Helps developing countries turn their Nationally Determined Contributions into action on the ground.

RESS: Renewable Electricity Support Scheme

Aims to promote the generation of electricity from renewable sources by providing financial support to renewable energy projects.

SAC: Special Area of Conservation

Protects one or more special habitats and/or species, either terrestrial or marine.

SBTi: Science Based Targets Initiative

Defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting.

SDGs: Sustainable Development Goals

Global goals designed to be a "blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all".

SEA: Strategic Environmental Assessment

A systematic decision support process.

SF6: Sulphur Hexafluoride

Extremely potent and persistent greenhouse gas that is primarily utilised as an electrical insulator.

SIC: Standard Industrial Classification

A system for classifying industries by a four-digit code.

SO: Sustainability Objectives

Objectives that promote sustainable development.

SOx: Sulphur Oxides

Compounds of sulphur and oxygen molecules.

SUP: Single Use Plastic

Made primarily from fossil fuel–based chemicals (petrochemicals) and are meant to be disposed of right after use.

TCFD: Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

Created to improve and increase reporting of climate-related financial information.

TOE: Ton of Oil Equivalent

Represents the quantity of energy contained in a ton of crude oil, used to compare different energy sources.

TPES: Total Primary Energy Supply

The total amount of primary energy that a country has at their disposal.

UN: United Nations

An intergovernmental organisation aiming to maintain international peace and security.

UNDP: United Nations Development Programme

Tasked with helping countries eliminate poverty and achieve sustainable economic growth and human development.

UNEP: United Nations Environment Programme

Responsible for coordinating responses to environmental issues within the United Nations system.

WCC: World Climate Conference

A series of international meetings, organized by the World Meteorological Organisation about global climate issues.

WFD: Water Framework Directive

Commits European Union member states to achieve good qualitative and quantitative status of all water bodies.

WMO: World Meteorological Organisation

Responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics.

WT: Wind Turbine

Device that converts the wind's kinetic energy into electrical energy.

ZEB: Zero Energy Buildings

A building with net zero energy consumption.