Working Group III: Mitigation

Other reports in this collection

Continued from previous page

See emissions cap.

Capital costs
Costs associated with capital or investment expenditure on land, plant, equipment, and inventories. Unlike labour and operating costs, capital costs are independent of the level of output for a given capacity of production.

Capacity building
In the context of climate change, capacity building is a process of developing the technical skills and institutional capability in developing countries and Economies in transition to enable them to participate in all aspects of adaptation to, mitigation of, and research on climate change, and the implementation of the Kyoto Mechanisms, etc.

Carbon cycle
The term used to describe the flow of carbon in various forms (e.g., as carbon dioxide) through the atmosphere, ocean, terrestrial biosphere, and lithosphere.

Carbon dioxide (CO2)
A naturally occurring gas, and also a by-product of burning fossil fuels and biomass, as well as land-use changes and other industrial processes. It is the principal anthropogenic greenhouse gas that affects the earth’s radiative balance. It is the reference gas against which other greenhouse gases are measured and therefore has a Global Warming Potential of 1.

Carbon dioxide fertilization
The enhancement of the growth of plants as a result of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. Depending on their mechanism of photosynthesis, certain types of plants are more sensitive to changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration. In particular, plants that produce a three-carbon compound (C3) during photosynthesis; including most trees and agricultural crops such as rice, wheat, soybeans, potatoes and vegetables, generally show a larger response than plants that produce a four-carbon compound (C4) during photosynthesis; mainly of tropical origin, including grasses and the agriculturally important crops maize, sugar cane, millet and sorghum.

Carbon leakage
See leakage.

Carbon tax
See emissions tax.

See Clean Development Mechanism.

See certified emission reduction.

Certified emission reduction (CER)
Equal to 1 tonne (metric ton) of CO2-equivalent emissions reduced or sequestered through a Clean Development Mechanism project, calculated using Global Warming Potentials. See also emissions reduction units.

See chlorofluorocarbons.

See methane.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
Greenhouse gases covered under the 1987 Montreal Protocol and used for refrigeration, air conditioning, packaging, insulation, solvents, or aerosol propellants. Since they are not destroyed in the lower atmosphere, CFCs drift into the upper atmosphere where, given suitable conditions, they break down ozone. These gases are being replaced by other compounds, including hydrochlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons, which are greenhouse gases covered under the Kyoto Protocol.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)
Defined in Article 12 of the Kyoto Protocol, the Clean Development Mechanism is intended to meet two objectives: (1) to assist Parties not included in Annex I in achieving sustainable development and in contributing to the ultimate objective of the convention; and (2) to assist Parties included in Annex I in achieving compliance with their quantified emission limitation and reduction commitments. Certified emission reductions from Clean Development Mechanism projects undertaken in non-Annex I countries that limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions, when certified by operational entities designated by Conference of the Parties/Meeting of the Parties, can be accrued to the investor (government or industry) from Parties in Annex B. A share of the proceeds from the certified project activities is used to cover administrative expenses as well as to assist developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change to meet the costs of adaptation.

Climate change
Climate change refers to a statistically significant variation in either the mean state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer). Climate change may result from natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use. Note that United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in its Article 1, defines “climate change” as “a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods”. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change thus makes a distinction between “climate change” attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and “climate variability” attributable to natural causes.

Climate Convention
See United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

See carbon dioxide.

The concentration of carbon dioxide that would cause the same amount of radiative forcing as the given mixture of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

The benefits of policies that are implemented for various reasons at the same time – including climate change mitigation – acknowledging that most policies designed to address greenhouse gas mitigation also have other, often at least equally important, rationales (e.g., related to objectives of development, sustainability, and equity). The term co-impact is also used in a more generic sense to cover both the positive and negative side of the benefits. See also ancillary benefits.

The use of waste heat from electric generation, such as exhaust from gas turbines, for either industrial purposes or district heating.

Sequence of actions necessary to achieve market entry and general market competitiveness of new technologies, processes, and products.

See implementation.

Conference of the Parties (CoP)
The supreme body of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, comprising countries that have ratified or acceded to the Framework Convention on Climate Change. The first session of the Conference of the Parties (CoP-1) was held in Berlin in 1995, followed by CoP-2 in Geneva 1996, CoP-3 in Kyoto 1997, CoP-4 in Buenos Aires, CoP-5 in Bonn, and CoP-6 in The Hague. See also CoP/MoP and Meeting of the Parties.

Consumer surplus
A measure of the value of consumption beyond the price paid for a good or service.

See Conference of the Parties.

The Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will serve as the Meeting of the Parties (MoP) the supreme body of the Kyoto Protocol, but only Parties to the Kyoto Protocol may participate in deliberations and make decisions. Until the Protocol enters into force, MoP cannot meet.

A criterion that specifies that a technology or measure delivers a good or service at equal or lower cost than current practice, or the least-cost alternative for the achievement of a given target.

Continues on next page

Other reports in this collection

IPCC Homepage