cover image: The Climate Dictionary


The Climate Dictionary

8 Aug 2023

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) released this 92-page Climate Dictionary on August 8, 2023. It provides simple and concise definitions for 40 climate-related terms frequently in use.Subtitled ‘Speak climate fluently’, the publication aims to “bridge the gap between complex scientific jargon and the general public” and make crucial information on climate change easier to access.The following are 13 of the 40 terms and their (excerpted) explanations which remain especially relevant to the present times:Blue economy: The "blue economy" concept seeks to promote economic development, social inclusion, and the preservation or improvement of livelihoods while at the same time ensuring environmental sustainability of the oceans and coastal areas.Blue economy has diverse components, including established traditional ocean industries such as fisheries, tourism, and maritime transport, but also new and emerging activities, such as offshore renewable energy, aquaculture, seabed extractive activities, and marine biotechnology.Carbon removal vs. Carbon capture: Carbon removal is the process of removing greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere, through natural solutions such as reforestation and soil management or technological solutions like direct air capture and enhanced mineralization.Carbon capture and storage is the process of trapping carbon emissions produced by fossil fuel power plants or other industrial processes before they can enter our atmosphere by storing them deep underground.Carbon markets: Carbon markets are trading schemes that create financial incentives for activities that reduce or remove greenhouse gas emissions. In these schemes, emissions are quantified into carbon credits that can be bought and sold. One tradable carbon credit equals one tonne of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent amount of a different greenhouse gas reduced, sequestered or avoided.Circular economy: Circular economy refers to models of production and consumption that minimize waste and reduce pollution, promote sustainable uses of natural resources, and help regenerate nature.Climate finance: Climate finance refers to financial resources and instruments that are used to support act on climate change […] Climate finance can come from different sources, public or private, national or international, bilateral or multilateral. It can employ different instruments such as grants and donations, green bonds, debt swaps, guarantees, and concessional loans. And it can be used for different activities, including mitigation, adaptation and resilience building.Climate overshoot: Under the Paris Agreement, countries are expected to take the necessary measures to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. But even best-case scenarios now indicate a significant chance of overshooting these goals, even if temporarily...
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United Nations Development Programme (Undp)

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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), New York