Interested in learning more?

Here is a list of useful reports and publications.









Abatement Refers to reducing the degree or intensity of greenhouse-gas emissions.


Planting of new forests on lands that historically have not contained forests.

Anthropogenic greenhouse emissions

Greenhouse-gas emissions resulting from human activities.

Carbon market

A popular (but misleading) term for a trading system through which countries may buy or sell units of greenhouse-gas emissions in an effort to meet their national limits on emissions, either under the Kyoto Protocol or under other agreements, such as that among member states of the European Union. The term comes from the fact that carbon dioxide is the predominant greenhouse gas, and other gases are measured in units called “carbon-dioxide equivalents.”

Carbon sequestration

The process of removing carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it in a reservoir.


Clean Development Mechanism. A mechanism under the Kyoto Protocol through which developed countries may finance greenhouse-gas emission reduction or removal projects in developing countries, and receive credits for doing so which they may apply towards meeting mandatory limits on their own emissions.

Certified emission reductions (CER)

A Kyoto Protocol unit equal to 1 metric tonne of CO2 equivalent. CERs are issued for emission reductions from CDM project activities. Two special types of CERs called temporary certified emission reduction (tCERs) and long-term certified emission reductions (lCERs) are issued for emission removals from afforestation and reforestation CDM projects.


Carbon dioxide.


Conversion of forest to non-forest.

Greenhouse gases (GHGs)

The atmospheric gases responsible for causing global warming and climate change. The major GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N20). Less prevalent --but very powerful -- greenhouse gases are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Programme, the IPCC surveys world-wide scientific and technical literature and publishes assessment reports that are widely recognized as the most credible existing sources of information on climate change. The IPCC also works on methodologies and responds to specific requests from the Convention’s subsidiary bodies. The IPCC is independent of the Convention.

Kyoto Protocol

An international agreement standing on its own, and requiring separate ratification by governments, but linked to the UNFCCC. The Kyoto Protocol, among other things, sets binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions by industrialized countries. More information here.

Least Developed Countries (LDCs)

The world’s poorest countries. The criteria currently used by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) for designation as an LDC include low income, human resource weakness and economic vulnerability. Currently 48 countries have been designated by the UN General Assembly as LDCs.


In the context of climate change, a human intervention to reduce the sources or enhance the sinks of greenhouse gases. Examples include using fossil fuels more efficiently for industrial processes or electricity generation, switching to solar energy or wind power, improving the insulation of buildings, and expanding forests and other “sinks” to remove greater amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


Measurable, reportable and verifiable. A process/concept that potentially supports greater transparency in the climate change regime.
One or more officials empowered to represent and negotiate on behalf of a government.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)

Organizations that are not part of a governmental structure. They include environmental groups, research institutions, business groups, and associations of urban and local governments. Many NGOs attend climate talks as observers. To be accredited to attend meetings under the Convention, NGOs must be non-profit. More information here.


Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.


Replanting of forests on lands that have previously contained forests but that have been converted to some other use.

Registries, registry systems

Electronic databases that tracks and records all transactions under the Kyoto Protocol’s greenhouse-gas emissions trading system (the “carbon market”) and under mechanisms such as the Clean Development Mechanism. “Registry” may also refer to current discussions on a system for inscribing nationally appropriate mitigation actions.

Sustainable development

Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Technology transfer

A broad set of processes covering the flows of know-how, experience and equipment for mitigating and adapting to climate change among different stakeholders.


United Nations.

Verified emission reductions (VERs)

A Verified Emissions Reduction is a single unit (one tonne) of CO2 equivalent reduction captured as a carbon credit for use as a commodity within the voluntary carbon market.