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