The Climate Change Terminology (To go with Curtain Raiser)

November 27th, 2011 - 5:36 pm ICT by IANS  

Acronyms and concepts in climate change talks that you’ll come across:

UNFCCC: The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change came into existence at the UN Environment Conference at Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992. Better known as Earth Summit, the conference sought to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. With 194 members, the UNFCCC has near universal membership.

CoP: The Conference of Parties is an annual meet of UNFCCC members. The first CoP was held in Berlin in 1995 and the Durban meet is the 17th.

Kyoto Protocol: Born at the UN climate meet in Japan’s Kyoto city in 1997, it is the only existing regime that introduced legally binding emission targets on rich countries and voluntary cuts for the developing world. It came into operation in February 2005 and it ends 2012. As many as 192 countries are party to it while the US is yet to ratify it.

Greenhouse gases (GHG): The six gases responsible for causing global warming — carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.

IPCC: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was created in 1988 in an effort by the UN to provide the governments of the world with a clear scientific view of what is happening to the world’s climate. It came out with its first assessment in 1990 and the fifth one is due in 2013.

Bali Action Plan: The 2007 climate conference in Bali culminated in the adoption of the Bali Road Map, which consists of a number of measures essential to reach a secure climate future.

Adaptation: Measures need to be taken at the global and local levels in order to reduce the impacts of climate change.

Anthropogenic Emissions: Emissions caused by human activity.

Mitigation: Reduction of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Fast-start Finance: The collective commitment by developed countries at CoP 15 in Copenhagen to provide new and additional resources to the tune of $30 billion for the period 2010-2012.

Green Climate Funding: At CoP 16 in Cancun, developed countries agreed to channel up $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries fight climate change.

REDD: Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries. It was first introduced in CoP 11 in Montreal.

CDM: Clean Development Mechanism offers developed countries’ investment in clean projects in developing countries to meet their emission targets.

Emission intensity: The carbon emissions of a country per unit of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In mathematical terms, total carbon emissions in a year divided by the country’s GDP is equal to carbon intensity.

Historical Responsibility: A term used to mean that till now almost all the accumulated GHGs in the atmosphere are a result of emissions by developed countries.

Principle of Equity: Every person in the world should have an equal carbon space in the atmosphere.

Common but differentiated Responsibility: Recognising that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, there is a heavier burden on developed nations to cut emissions.

Technology Transfer: Developing countries have been demanding that rich countries provide to them technologies that are more energy efficient and help them in reducing emissions. The intellectual property rights issues are a bone of contention as rich countries do not want to do away with the IPRs.

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