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Glossary

 

Additionality – A project is ‘additional’ if it, and the activities supported by it, could not have happened without the carbon finance.

 

Afforestation – The direct, human-induced conversion to woodland of land that has not previously been forested according to historical records. The IPCC sets a threshold of a continuous absence of woodland over the previous 25 years.

 

AFOLU - Agriculture, forestry and other land use.

 

Barrier - Any obstacle to reaching a goal that can be overcome by a project or measure.

 

Baseline – The starting reference point from which the carbon benefits of project activities can be measured or calculated. A dynamic baseline may be required if the previous land use has not achieved a steady state in terms of carbon dynamics.

 

Biodiversity - The variety of ecosystems and living organisms (species), including variability and genetic variation within species, and the ecological complexes within and between ecosystems.

 

Buffer – A carbon pool of sufficient size to cover both uncertainty in carbon measurement and potential losses which may occur from the project over time, thus ensuring the permanence of emissions reductions.

 

Carbon pool - A system that can store and/or accumulate carbon, e.g. above-ground biomass, leaf/needle litter, dead wood and soil organic carbon.

 

Carbon sequestration - Direct removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through land-use change, afforestation, reforestation and/or increases in soil carbon (biological sequestration only).

 

Carbon offsetting – Calculating emissions and then purchasing ‘credits’ from emission reduction projects that have prevented or removed the emission of an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide elsewhere.

 

Carbon sink – A carbon pool that is expanding, e.g. a growing forest.

 

CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) – One of the flexible mechanisms created by the Kyoto Protocol.

 

Climate change - Change or changes in the climate which can be directly or indirectly attributed to human activity

 

CO2 - (Carbon dioxide) A naturally occurring gas and by-product of burning fossil fuels or biomass, land-use changes and industrial processes. It is the principal anthropogenic (caused by human activity) greenhouse gas that affects the Earth’s climate.

 

Crediting Period – the duration over which a project generates emissions reductions or carbon credits.

 

Deforestation - Permanent or long-term removal of woodland; the direct, human induced conversion of forested land to another land use, or the long-term reduction of the tree canopy cover below the minimum 20% threshold.

 

Ecosystem - A community of plants and animals (including humans) interacting with one another and their environment.

 

Forest – See 'woodland'

 

FSC - Forest Stewardship Council.

 

Double-counting – Double-counting occurs when the same carbon credit is claimed by two separate entities in respect of the same emissions, or when the same credit is sold more than once in respect of the same unit of carbon reduction or sequestration.

 

GHGs - Greenhouse gases. The gases which are causing the warming of the Earth's atmosphere that is leading to climate change. Six gases are defined in the Kyoto Protocol as contributing to climate change: carbon dioxide, hydrofluorocarbons, methane, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons and sulphur-hexafluoride. These contribute to the 'greenhouse effect'.

 

ISO - International Standards Organisation.

 

Leakage - The unintended change of carbon stocks outside the boundaries of a project, but resulting directly from the project activity (usually thought of as being negative, although positive leakage can occur). The change might be an increase in emissions or a decrease in sequestration, resulting in a lower carbon benefit being attributable to the project.

 

Mitigation - Implementing activities or policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

and/or enhance carbon sinks.

 

Native species - A species that has arrived and inhabited an area naturally, without deliberate assistance by humans, or which would occur at the location had it not been removed through human intervention in the past.

 

Naturalised species - A non-native species that reproduces consistently and sustains populations over more than one life cycle without direct intervention by humans.

 

REDD – Reduction of emissions from degradation and deforestation.

 

Reforestation – Direct, human-induced establishment of forest on non-forested land that had been forested at some time in the past.

 

Terrestrial carbon management – Any land-use management practice designed to increase net carbon benefits, either through increasing carbon stocks or protecting carbon stocks from losses over time.

 

UNFCCC - United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. An international framework convention on climate change policy.

 

Validation - The initial evaluation of a project against published standards undertaken before registration by an expert reviewer.

 

Verification - The evaluation of the delivery of emissions reductions or carbon credits by a project.

 

VCM – Voluntary Carbon Market

 

VERs - Voluntary Emissions Reductions. Emission reductions made where there is nolegal requirement to do so, i.e. outwith Kyoto or any other regulatory scheme.

 

Woodland - Land under stands of trees with a canopy cover of at least 20%, or having the potential to achieve this. This definition includes integral open space and felled areas that are awaiting restocking (replanting).

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