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Glossary and Definitions


Activities Implemented Jointly: greenhouse gas reduction projects implemented in some countries that are parties to the UNFCCC, which are funded from other parties, but without any crediting of emissions.

Annex 1

The industrialized countries and economies in transition undertaking specific commitments under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.


Bioenergy is used as the term for energy generated from biofuels, and does not include human or animal work. It covers all energy forms derived from organic fuels of biological origin used for energy production; it comprises both purpose-grown energy crops and multi-purpose plantations and by-products (residues and wastes). The term by-products includes solid, liquid and gaseous by-products derived from human activities. Biomass may be considered as one form of transformed solar energy. (Further detailed definitions of related bioenergy, biofuels and biomass terms are contained in the Annex).


Biofuels are fuels of renewable and biological origin, including woodfuel, charcoal, livestock manure, biogas, biohydrogen, bioalcohol, microbial biomass, agricultural wastes and by-products, and energy crops.


Biomass is defined for the purposes of this report as all forms of plant-derived matter other than that which has been fossilized.


Clean Development Mechanism, as proposed in the Kyoto Protocol: CDM governs project investments in developing countries that generate certified emission reductions for industrialized countries undertaking specific commitments under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.


Certified Emissions Reductions: as proposed for the Clean Development Mechanism, CERs can be earned with a CDM project in a developing country and added to the assigned amounts of an Annex 1 country.


Commission for Sustainable Development of the United Nations.

Developing countries

In this report, developing countries are taken to comprise all countries in Africa, Asia (excluding Japan), Latin America and the Caribbean, and Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand).


Emission Reduction Units: as proposed for Joint Implementation, ERUs can be earned by an industrialized country with a JI project in an economy in transition.


Global Environment Facility: the international financing mechanism providing incremental funding for projects with global environmental benefits, jointly implemented by UNDP, UNEP and the World Bank.


Greenhouse gases: The gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perflourocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.


Gross Domestic Product; Gross National Product.


Joint Implementation, as proposed in the Kyoto Protocol: JI governs project investments implemented between two Annex 1 countries. It allows for the creation, acquisition and transfer of emission reduction units. (In practice this is likely to involve investments in economies in transition that generate emission reduction units for industrialized countries undertaking specific commitments under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol).


kilo-newton, a unit of force, used in this report to measure pulling force by humans or animals.

kW; MW

kilowatt; megawatt: units of power, used in this report to measure electrical (when designated kWe, or MWe) or mechanical power output from an energy generating device, or the power demand of an energy using device.


kilowatt-hour, a unit of energy, used in this report to measure electrical or mechanical energy.

Kyoto Protocol

The international agreement to address the threat posed by the steady accumulation of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the earth's atmosphere.


International Energy Agency.


Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change.


Multi-functional character of agriculture and land.


Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.


Prototype Carbon Fund, established by the World Bank to invest in projects that produce greenhouse gas emissions that can be registered with UNFCCC for the purposes of the Kyoto Protocol.


Photovoltaic systems, that convert solar radiation directly into electricity using specially prepared semi-conductors.

Renewable energy

Consists of energy produced and/or derived from sources infinitely renovated or generated by combustible renewable sources. The main forms of renewable energy are solar, wind, biomass, hydro, geothermal and ocean energy.


Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development.


tonnes of carbon (equivalent): used as a common unit for the weight of emissions of each of the greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol, related to the global warming potential of CO2.

Technology transfer

Technology transfer, established in the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol is one of the instruments for transfer of Annex 1 technology to the developing countries for their sustainable development.


tonnes of oil equivalent: often used as a common unit for the energy content of different fuel sources. 1 toe is 42 GJ.


United Nations Development Programme.


United Nations Environment Programme.


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.


World Energy Council.

Wood energy

Energy derived from primary and secondary solid, liquid and gaseous biofuels derived from forests, woodlands and trees. Wood energy represents the energy produced by combustion of woodfuels, such as fuelwood, charcoal, pellets, briquettes, etc., corresponding to the net calorific value of the fuel. (Further definitions of wood energy and related topics are contained in the Annex).

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