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terminology

So I don't know about you, but there's so many phrases and terms that are dropped into articles about climate change and sustainability that's it's hard to understand what's going on half the time!  So whilst it may make sense to you, there may be others like me who could also do with some explanation, so here's my attempt at pulling it all together (in simple terms).

This page will constantly evolve as I go ... wish me luck

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  • B corporation (B Corp): B Corporation (or B Corp) is a certification for ethical businesses who work not just for profit, but to benefit people and the planet.

 

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  • Carbon budget: Concept how much carbon we can burn and keep temperature below safe levels. Budget will be depleted by 2030!

  • Carbon credits: A permit that allows the company that holds it to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases. One credit permits the emission of a mass equal to one ton of carbon dioxide

  • Carbon dioxide (Co2): One of the most important greenhouse gases linked to global warming, but it is a minor component of Earth’s atmosphere (about 3 volumes in 10,000), formed in combustion of carbon-containing materials, in fermentation, and in respiration of animals and employed by plants in the photosynthesis of carbohydrates. 

  • Carbon neutral: Calculating a carbon footprint and reducing it to zero through a combination of efficiency measures in-house and supporting external emission reduction projects

  • Carbon offset: Buying “offsets” from other countries – carbon credits that represent tonnes of carbon dioxide reduced, for instance from growing trees or installing solar panels in developing countries. 

  • Carbon sink: A forest, ocean, or other natural environment viewed in terms of its ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

  • Carbon taxes: A surcharge on fossil fuels that aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

  • Circular economy: A framework for an economy that is restorative and regenerative by design

  • Corporate Social Responsibility: Integration of social and environmental policies into day-to-day corporate business

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  • Energy Subsidy:  Keep prices for customers below market levels, or for suppliers above market levels, or reduce costs for customers and suppliers

  • Emissions Trading scheme: Works on the ‘cap and trade’ principle, where a cap is set on the total amount of certain greenhouse gases that can be emitted by sectors covered by the scheme

  • Environmental justice: has been defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, colour, national origin or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies

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  • Green New Deal: A game-changing plan to fight climate breakdown and fix inequality.

  • Greenhouse gas: Any gas that has the property of absorbing infrared radiation (net heat energy) emitted from Earth’s surface and reradiating it back to Earth’s surface, thus contributing to the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide, methane, and water vapour are the most important greenhouse gases

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  • Nationally determined contribution (NDC): National plan for cutting greenhouse gas emissions

  • Net Zero means that the UK’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions would be equal to or less than the emissions the UK removed from the environment

  • Non-linear tipping point: Tipping points are “non-linear” phenomena, which means that they can reach a point at which rapid catastrophic change occurs eg. Melting glaciers, can't come back

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  • Sacrifice zones:  Geographical areas which are knowingly destroyed in the name of power and profit. They are generally ‘out of the way’ places, and the people who reside in them tend to be poor and lacking political power. This usually has something to do with race and/or class

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