Glossary of Terms
Adjustment in ecological, social or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli, or their effects, that moderates harm or exploits beneficial opportunities.
Taking up and practicing or using as one's own.
Artificial establishment of forest stands on lands that previously have not supported forests for more than 50 years.
Blueprint for sustainable development into the 21st Century. Its basis was agreed during the "Earth Summit" at Rio in 1992, and signed by 179 Heads of State and Government.
An arrangement or contract as to a course of action; the language or instrument embodying such a contract. The term is used to denote one of the five basic stages of technology transfer as defined in this Report.
Annex I Countries
The countries listed in the Annex I to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that, as Parties, are committed to adopt national policies and take measures to mitigate climate change. Annex I Parties consist of the 24 original countries belonging to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the European Union and countries designated as Economies in Transition.
Annex II Countries
The countries listed in Annex II to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. These countries have a special obligation to help developing countries with financial and technological resources. They include the 24 original OECD members plus the European Union.
Derived from human activities.
Determination of the importance, size, or other characteristics of a country or entity's technology
needs, market opportunities for technology transfer. The term is used to denote one of the five basic stages of technology transfer as defined in this Report.
Factors that prevent or impede the transfer of technologies or practices.
Increasing skilled personnel and technical and institutional capacity.
The greenhouse gas whose concentration is being most affected directly by human activities. CO2 also serves as the reference to compare all other greenhouse gases (see carbon dioxide equivalents). The major source of CO2 emissions is fossil fuel combustion. CO2 emissions are also a product of forest clearing, biomass burning, and non-energy production processes such as cement production.
The biochemical process through which carbon in the atmosphere is absorbed by biomass such as trees, soils and crops.
Chlorofluorocarbons and Related Compounds
This family of anthropogenic compounds includes chlorofluorcarbons (CFCs), bromofluorcarbons (halons), methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, methyl bromide, and hydrochlorofluorcarbons (HCFCs). These compounds have been shown to deplete stratospheric ozone, and therefore are typically referred to as ozone depleting substances. The most ozone-depleting of these compounds are being phased out under the Montreal Protocol.
Clean Development Mechanism
Possible agreements between Annex I and non-Annex I Parties as defined in Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The term 'climate change' is sometimes used to refer to all forms of climatic inconsistency, but because the Earth's climate is never static, the term is more properly used to imply a significant change from one climatic condition to another. In some cases, 'climate change' has been used synonymously with the term, 'global warming'; scientists however, tend to use the term in the wider sense to also include natural changes in climate.
Actions conducive to mitigating climate change.
Actions conducive to adapting to climate change.
Community Driven Pathways
Technology transfers initiated and lead by community organizations and entities with a high degree of collective decision-making.
Conference of the Parties
The Conference of the Parties (CoP) is the collection of nations which have ratified the Framework Convention on Climate Change, currently over 170 strong. The primary role of the CoP is to keep the implementation of the Convention under review and to take the decisions necessary for the effective implementation of the Convention.
Association of persons or institutions for common benefit. In this Report generally used to denote the collaboration for purposes of spreading technology, practices or know-how.
The spread of technological equipment, practices or know-how from one area or group of people to others by contact.
The portion of the technical potential for adapting to or mitigation climate change that could be achieved cost-effectively in the absence of market barriers. The achievement of the economic potential requires additional policies and measures to break down market barriers.
Economies In Transition
Countries in Central and East Europe and the Former Members of the Soviet Union that are in transition to a market economy.
A level of emission that under law may not be exceeded.
Environmentally Sound Technologies
Technologies which protect the environment, are less polluting, use all resources in a more sustainable manner, recycle more of their wastes and products, and handle residual wastes in a more acceptable manner than the technologies for which they were substitutes and are compatible with nationally determined socio-economic, cultural and environmental priorities. In this Report environmentally sound technologies imply mitigation and adaptation technologies. The term includes hard and soft technologies.
Determination by careful appraisal of the profitability and quality of a technology transferred, the appropriateness of the technology to a local situation, and other results of a project or program. The term is used to denote one of the five basic stages of technology transfer as defined in this Report.
By-products of activities that affect the well-being of people or damage the environment, where those impacts are not reflected in market prices. The costs (or benefits) associated with externalities do normally not enter standard cost accounting schemes.
Carbon-fluorine compounds that often contain other elements such as hydrogen, chlorine, or bromine. Common fluorocarbons include chlorofluorocarbons and related compounds (also known as ozone depleting substances), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and perfluorcarbons (PFCs).
Foreign Direct Investment
Capital invested for the purpose of acquiring a long term interest in an enterprise and of exerting a degree of influence on that enterprise's operations.
Framework Convention on Climate Change
The international treaty signed at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) at Rio in 1992. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) commits signatory countries to stabilize anthropogenic (i.e., human-induced) greenhouse gas concentrations to 'levels that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system'. The FCCC also requires that all signatory Parties develop and update national inventories of anthropogenic emissions of all greenhouse gases not otherwise controlled by the Montreal Protocol.
The pricing of commercial goods - such as electric power - that would include in the final prices faced by the end user not only the private costs of inputs, but also the costs of the externalities created by their production and use.
General Circulation Model
A global, three-dimensional computer model of the climate system which can be used to simulate human-induced climate change. GCMs are highly complex and they represent the effects of such factors as reflective and absorptive properties of atmospheric water vapor, greenhouse gas concentrations, clouds, annual and daily solar heating, ocean temperatures and ice boundaries. The most recent GCMs include global representations of the atmosphere, oceans, and land surface.
An increase in the near surface temperature of the Earth. Global warming has occurred in the distant past as the result of natural influences, but the term is most often used to refer to the warming predicted to occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases.
Global Warming Potential
The index used to translate the level of emissions of various gases into a common measure in order to compare the relative radiative forcing of different gases without directly calculating the changes in atmospheric concentrations.
Government Driven Pathways
Technology transfers initiated by governments who play a leading role in the transfer as well.
The effect produced as greenhouse gases allow incoming solar radiation to pass through the Earth's atmosphere, but prevent most of the outgoing infra-red radiation from the surface and lower atmosphere from escaping into outer space.
Any gas that absorbs infra-red radiation in the atmosphere.
Greenhouse Gas Reduction Potential
Possible reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases (quantified in terms of absolute reductions or in percentages of baseline emissions) that can be achieved through the use of technologies and measures.
Chemicals (belonging to the ODSs) consisting of carbon, sometimes hydrogen, and either chlorine, fluorine bromine or iodine.
Chemical compounds (belonging to the ODSs) developed from hydrocarbons by replacing atoms of hydrogen with atoms of halogens, such as fluorine, chlorine, or bromine. CFCs are halons.
Substances containing only hydrogen and carbon. Fossil fuels are made up of hydrocarbons. Some hydrocarbon compounds are major air pollutants.
Chemicals (along with perfluorocarbons) introduced as alternatives to ozone depleting substances in serving many industrial, commercial, and personal needs. HFCs are emitted as by-products of industrial processes and are also used in manufacturing. They do not significantly deplete the stratospheric ozone layer, but they are powerful greenhouse gases.
Carrying out; giving practical effect to and ensuring of actual fulfillment of technology transfer processes by concrete measures. The term is used to denote one of the five basic stages of technology transfer as defined in this Report.
The heat energy that is emitted from all solids, liquids, and gases. In the context of the greenhouse issue, the term refers to the heat energy emitted by the Earth's surface and its atmosphere. Greenhouse gases strongly absorb this radiation in the Earth's atmosphere, and reradiate some back towards the surface, creating the greenhouse effect.
The introduction of something new; a new idea, method, or device.
Intellectual Property Right
An intangible asset, such as a copyright or patent.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organization in 1988. The purpose of the IPCC is to assess information in the scientific and technical literature related to all significant components of the issue of climate change. The IPCC draws upon hundreds of the world's expert scientists as authors and thousands as expert reviewers. Leading experts on climate change and environmental, social, and economic sciences from all over the world have helped the IPCC to prepare periodic assessments of the scientific underpinnings for understanding global climate change, its consequences and potential adaptation and mitigation responses.
A device, contrivance, or process originated after study and experiment.
Possible agreements between Annex I Parties as defined in Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some aspects of this approach are being tested as Activities Implemented Jointly (AIJ).
An alliance between two or more entities to carry out a single business enterprise by pooling property, money, equipment, and/or know-how.
Protocol belonging to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed in Kyoto (Japan) in December 1997.
Conditions which prevent or impede the transfer of cost-effective technologies or practices which could adapt to or mitigate climate change.
The portion of the economic potential for adapting to or mitigation climate change that could be achieved under existing market conditions, assuming no new policies and measures.
Measures intended to directly change relative prices and overcome market barriers.
A hydrocarbon that is a greenhouse gas produced through anaerobic (without oxygen) decomposition of waste in landfills, animal digestion, decomposition of animal wastes, production and distribution of natural gas and oil, coal production, and incomplete fossil fuel combustion.
An anthropogenic intervention to reduce the emissions or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases.
Protocol to the Vienna Convention on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer originally signed in 1987 and amended in 1990 and 1992.
Facility under the Montreal Protocol established in 1990 to assist the developing countries, operating under
Article 5 (1), to achieve compliance with the Protocol.
Gases consisting of one atom of nitrogen and varying numbers of oxygen atoms. Nitrogen oxides are produced in the emissions of vehicle exhausts and from power stations. In the atmosphere, nitrogen oxides can contribute to formation of photochemical ozone (smog) which is a greenhouse gas.
A powerful greenhouse gas emitted through soil cultivation practices, especially the use of commercial and organic fertilizers, fossil fuel combustion, nitric acid production, and biomass burning.
No Regret Measures
Measures whose benefits - such as improved performance or reduced emissions of local/regional pollutants, but excluding the benefits of climate change mitigation - equal or exceed their costs. They are sometimes known as "measures worth doing anyway."
Aid meeting the test of Official Development Assistance but directed to countries on Part II of the OECD Development Assistance Committee list of aid recipients.
Official Development Assistance
Flows to developing countries and multilateral institutions provided by official agencies, including state and local governments, each transaction of which 1) is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective and 2) is concessional in character, with a grant element of at least 25 percent.
Ozone consists of three atoms of oxygen bonded together in contrast to normal atmospheric oxygen which consists of two atoms of oxygen. Ozone is an important greenhouse gas found in both the stratosphere (about 90% of the total atmospheric loading) and the troposphere (about 10%). Ozone has other effects beyond acting as a greenhouse gas. In the stratosphere, ozone provides a protective layer shielding the Earth from ultraviolet radiation and subsequent harmful health effect on humans and the environment. In the troposphere, oxygen atoms in ozone combine with other chemicals and gases (oxidization) to cause smog.
Tiny pieces of solid or liquid matter, such as soot, dust, fumes, or mist.
Close cooperation between parties having specified and joint rights and responsibilities.
A state (or regional economic integration organization) that ratifies or accedes to an international agreement. In this Report it mostly refers to the UNFCCC.
A route through which technology transfer takes place, composed of a combination of processes and involving different stakeholders.
A group of human-made chemicals composed of carbon and fluorine only: CF4 and C2F6. These chemicals, specifically CF4 and C2F6, (along with hydrofluorocarbons) were introduced as alternatives to the ozone depleting substances. They are powerful greenhouse gases.
Procedures developed and implemented by government(s) regarding the goal of adapting to or mitigating climate change through the use of technologies and measures.
Private Sector Driven Pathways
Technology transfers primarily between commercially oriented private-sector entities.
A change in the balance between incoming solar radiation and outgoing infra-red radiation. Without any radiative forcing, solar radiation coming to the Earth would continue to be approximately equal to the infra-red radiation emitted from the Earth. The addition of greenhouse gases traps and increased fraction of the infra-red radiation, reradiating it back toward the surface and creating a warming influence (i.e., positive radiative forcing because incoming solar radiation will exceed outgoing infra-red radiation).
Forest stands established artificially on lands that have supported forests within the last 50 years.
Rules or codes enacted by governments that mandate product specifications or process performance characteristics.
A combination of efforts leading to transfer of a technology, including replication of a transfer project, reinvestment and repurchase. The term is used to denote one of the five basic stages of technology transfer as defined in this Report.
The act or process of reproducing.
A process that removes greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, either by destroying them through chemical processes or storing them in some other form. Carbon dioxide is often stored in ocean water, plants, or soils, from where it can be released at a later time.
Energy from the Sun. Also referred to as short-wave radiation. Of importance to the climate system, solar radiation includes ultra-violet radiation, visible radiation, and infra-red radiation.
Actors such as governments, private sector entities, financial institutions, NGOs and research/education institutions, involved in a technology transfer process.
Set of rules or codes mandating or defining product performance (grades, dimensions, characteristics, test methods, rules for use).
Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice
UNFCCC committee serving as the link between the information and assessments provided by expert sources (such as the IPCC) on the one hand, and the policy-oriented needs of the CoP on the other.
A compound composed of one sulfur and two oxygen atoms. Sulfur dioxide emitted into the atmosphere through natural and anthropogenic processes is changed in a complex series of chemical reactions in the atmosphere to sulfate aerosols. These aerosols result in negative radiative forcing (i.e., tending to cool the Earth's surface).
A very powerful greenhouse gas, composed of one sulfur and six fluorine atoms, used primarily in electrical transmission and distribution systems.
Development that ensures that the use of resources and the environment today does not damage prospects for their use by future generations.
The amount by which it is possible to address climate change by using a technology or practice in all applications in which it could technically be adopted, without consideration of its costs or practical feasibility.
A piece of equipment, technique, practical knowledge or skills for performing a particular activity.
The broad set of processes covering the exchange of knowledge, money and goods amongst different stakeholders that lead to the spreading of technology for adapting to or mitigating climate change. In an attempt to use the broadest and most inclusive concept possible, the Report uses the word 'transfer' to encompass both diffusion of technologies and cooperation across and within countries.
Volatile Organic Compound
The term used to describe the organic gases and vapours that are present in the air. They are believed to be involved in ground-level ozone formation. Some VOCs are toxic air pollutants.
Measures to address climate change that are adopted by firms or other actors in the absence of government mandates.
The degree to which a systems is susceptible to, and unable to cope with, injury damage or harm.
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