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Carbon & GHG Glossary


Hydroflourocarbons (HFCs)

A compound consisting of hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon. HFCs have global warming potentials anywhere from 90 to 12,000 times that of carbon dioxide and are mainly used as substitutes for ozone depleting substances.

Indirect carbon sequestration

Indirect carbon sequestration (terrestrial sequestration) part of the natural carbon cycle where plants “breathe” in carbon dioxide (CO2). CO2 is the gaseous form of carbon bound with two oxygen atoms. The plants convert the CO2 to Carbon (C) which they need to grow and “exhale” oxygen.

Indirect Emissions

GHG emissions that occur as a secondary result of an activity that is not directly controlled or owned by an entity; i.e. purchased electricity or air travel for business purposes. Also known as Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions.

International Transaction Log (ITL) (ITL)

the United Nations international transactions log and validation process. All Kyoto countries must have registries that conform to the ITL before they can participate in international emissions trading.


an intergovernmental scientific group established in 1988 by two United Nations organizations (World Meteorological Organization ‘WMO’ and the United Nations Environment Programme ‘UNEP’) and tasked to evaluate the risk of climate change caused by human activity.

Joint Implementation

agreements made by and between two or more Nations to help reduce emissions or pollution.

Kyoto Protocol

an international agreement that set legally binding targets for the reduction of worldwide emissions of Greenhouse gases. The Kyoto Protocol was created in 1997 by 159 nations attending COP3 in Kyoto, Japan. Kyoto Protocal here>>>


The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – a green building rating system, developed in 1998 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) that provides a suite of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.

Mega Projects

generally, any project that results in more than 1,000,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent Greenhouse gas emissions reductions or removals per year, however definition may differ depending on which protocol is being used.


a greenhouse gas (CH4) primarily created through the decomposition of waste such as landfills and animal waste. Methane is also produced from incomplete fossil fuel combustion and in production and distribution of natural gas and petroleum.

Methane Digester

a mechanism used to reduce methane emissions and create a renewable energy source by facilitating anaerobic digestion of biodegradable materials and capturing the resulting methane gas.

Methodology Element

A new methodology, methodology revision, additionality performance test or tool/module that is subject to the double approval process.

Methodology Element Developer

An entity that develops a methodology element.

Metric Ton – (metric tonne or tonne métre)

a unit of weight equal to 1,000 kilograms, or 2204.6226 pounds. Also referred to as a megagram.

Net irradiance

the difference between the incoming radiation energy and the outgoing radiation energy in a given climate system measured in Watts per square meter.

New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Abatement

a mandatory Greenhouse gas trading scheme that commenced on January 1, 2003 aiming to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions to 7.27 tonnes of carbon dioxide per capita by the year 2007.

Nitrous Oxide

a greenhouse gas (N2O) that is produced through fossil fuel combustion, biomass combustion, nitric acid production, and in the use of commercial fertilizers.

Non-Annex I Countries

countries that have no Greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations but may participate in the Clean Development Mechanism governed by UNFCCC. Typically these are developing nations.

Option Contract

a contract that conveys the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a particular commodity at a certain price for a limited period of time.

Pacific Carbon Trust (PCT) (PCT)

offers quality carbon offsets, measured as one metric tonne of carbon dioxide or equivalent (CO2e) that is reduced or removed from the atmosphere as a result of emission-reducing (offset) activities.

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