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Carbon & GHG Glossary

All   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Corporate Average Fuel Economy – a standard and limitations instituted to improve the gas mileage of cars and light trucks and thereby reduce energy consumption. CAFE is administered and regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in conjunction with the EPA.

cap and trade

a legal or political system that sets specific mandatory limits on specified emissions, such as CO2 and enforcement actions coupled with a free-market based mechanism whereby emitters can purchase, sell, and trade emission.

Credits Website

Carbon Credit

a generic term representing Certified Emission Reduction. A unit of measurement and sale that is a key component to the market-based mechanism of a cap and trade system. A single Carbon Credit is equal to one metric ton (tonne) of sequestered carbon dioxide, or its equivalent in Greenhouse impacts for other chemicals such as methane. Carbon Credits are used in both industrial and personal carbon trading systems.

Carbon Cycle

the repeating, natural process of carbon storage (sequestration) and emission.

Carbon Dioxide CO (CO)

an odorless, colorless, nonpoisonous, and naturally occurring gas that is a product of fossil fuel or organic material combustion.

Carbon Footprint

the carbon dioxide emissions which can be traced back to an individual or corporate entity. More information here>>>

Carbon Sequestration

the process (natural or artificial) of storing carbon. Carbon is naturally sequestered in forests, oceans, and soils through the carbon cycle. Carbon is artificially sequestered as a mitigation strategy by injecting CO2 into underground storage sinks and other artificial processes.

Carbon Tax

an environmental tax on the emission of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases implemented to protect the environment by creating financial incentives to reduce emissions.

CCAR– California Climate Action Registry (CCAR)

a private, non-profit organization originally formed by the State of California that serves as a voluntary Greenhouse gas (GHG) registry to protect and promote early actions to reduce GHG emissions by organizations. The California Registry provides leadership on climate change by developing and promoting credible, accurate, and consistent GHG reporting standards and tools for organizations to measure, monitor, third-party verify, and reduce their GHG emissions consistently across industry sectors and geographical borders.


Climate, Community, and Biodiversity Alliance - The Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance is a partnership between leading companies, NGOs, and research institutes seeking to promote integrated solutions to land management around the world.


carbon capture and storage - a process generally engineered as opposed to using natural environmental processes of capturing carbon.

CDM - Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

an arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol allowing industrialized countries with a greenhouse gas reduction commitment (Annex B countries) to invest in projects that reduce emissions in developing countries as an alternative to more expensive emission reductions in their own countries.

CFI (Carbon Financial Instrument) Contracts (CFI)

the commodity traded on the Chicago Climate Exchange which represents 100 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. CFI contracts are made up of Exchange Allowances and Exchange Offsets. The allowances are issued to emitting members based on their emission baseline and the CCX reduction schedule. Offsets are generated by qualifying offset projects.

Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) (CCX)

the operator of a North American cap and trade system for all six Greenhouse gases

Climate Action Reserve (CAR) (CAR)

is a national offsets program working to ensure integrity, transparency and financial value in the U.S. carbon market. It does this by establishing regulatory-quality standards for the development, quantification and verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction projects in North America; issuing carbon offset credits known as Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRT) generated from such projects; and tracking the transaction of credits over time in a transparent, publicly-accessible system.

CO2 Equivalent (CDE) (CDE)

carbon dioxide equivalency is a quantity that describes, for a given mixture and amount of greenhouse gas, the amount of CO2 that would have the same global warming potential (GWP), when measured over a specified timescale (generally 100 years).

Conference of Parties (COP) (COP)

the primary negotiating body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). COP is made up of more than 170 nations that have ratified the Convention and serves to promote and review implementation of the Convention.

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