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DKK Climate Glossary - Terms D to R


Directorate-General Energy (ENER)

DocumentNotification from the European Commission for two new Directorates-General (pdf)

In February 2010, the European Commission created two new Directorates-General: GD Climate Action (CLIM), and GD Energy (ENER). The Energy DG combines the departments of the GD Transport and Energy which deal with energy issues. The Climate Action DG will be created from the relevant activities in DG Environment, the activities in the External Relations DG related to international negotiations on climate change and the activities in the Enterprise and Industry DG related to climate change.

European Emissions Trading System


Documents: European Directive on Emissions Trading 2003/87/EG

Website: http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/mechanisms/emissions_trading/items/2731.php

The EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) is a cornerstone of the European Union's policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. Being the first and biggest international scheme for the trading of greenhouse gas emission allowances, the EU ETS covers some 11,000 power stations and industrial plants in 30 countries. Launched in 2005, the EU ETS works on the "cap and trade" principle. This means there is a "cap", or limit, on the total amount of certain greenhouse gases that can be emitted by the factories, power plants and other installations in the system. Within this cap, companies receive emission allowances which they can sell to or buy from one another as needed. The limit on the total number of allowances available ensures that they have a value.

At the end of each year each company must surrender enough allowances to cover all its emissions, otherwise heavy fines are imposed. If a company reduces its emissions, it can keep the spare allowances to cover its future needs or else sell them to another company that is short of allowances. The flexibility that trading brings ensures that emissions are cut where it costs least to do so.

The number of allowances is reduced over time so that total emissions fall. In 2020 emissions will be 21% lower than in 2005.

The ETS now operates in 30 countries (the 27 EU Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). It covers CO2 emissions from installations such as power stations, combustion plants, oil refineries and iron and steel works, as well as factories making cement, glass, lime, bricks, ceramics, pulp, paper and board.

Nitrous oxide emissions from certain processes are also covered. Between them, the installations currently in the scheme account for almost half of the EU's CO2 emissions and 40% of its total greenhouse gas emissions.

Airlines will join the scheme in 2012. The EU ETS will be further expanded to the petrochemicals, ammonia and aluminum industries and to additional gases in 2013, when the third trading period will start. At the same time a series of important changes to the way the EU ETS works will take effect in order to strengthen the system.

Source: European Commission, DG CLIM



The Group of 77

Website: www.g77.org

The Group of 77 (G-77) was established in 1964 by seventy-seven developing countries signatories of the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries”. A permanent institutional structure gradually developed which led to the creation of Chapters of the Group of 77 with Liaison offices various countries. Although the members of the G-77 have increased to 131 countries, the original name was retained due to its historic significance. The Group of 77 is the largest intergovernmental organization of developing countries in the United Nations, which provides the means for the countries of the South to articulate and promote their collective economic interests and enhance their joint negotiating capacity on all major international economic issues within the United Nations system, and promote South-South cooperation for development. The G77 plays an important role in the global arena of climate policy.

Source: Federal Environment Ministry http://www.bmub.bund.de/themen/klima-energie/klimaschutz/internationale-klimapolitik/glossar/#c14037  (German)



Integrated Energy and Climate Protection Programme

Document: Integrated Energy and Climate Protection Programme 2007 (pdf)

In 2007, the federal government passed the Integrated Energy and Climate Protection Programme (IEKP).The IEKP is made up of 29 laws and measures that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 35% by 2020 comapred to 2009. For example, the share of electricity from combined heat and power (CHP) is to be increased to about 25%, and the biogas feed-in to the natural gas network is to be facilitated.



Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Website: www.ipcc.ch

Important Documents: 4th Assessment Report (pdf)
Information for the preparation of the 5th Assessment Report (AR5)

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

The IPCC is a scientific body. It reviews and assesses the most recent scientific, technical and socio-economic information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change. It does not conduct any research nor does it monitor climate related data or parameters.

Thousands of scientists from all over the world contribute to the work of the IPCC on a voluntary basis. Review is an essential part of the IPCC process, to ensure an objective and complete assessment of current information.  The IPCC is an intergovernmental body. It is open to all member countries of the United Nations (UN) and WMO. Currently 194 countries are members of the IPCC. Governments participate in the review process and the plenary Sessions, where main decisions about the IPCC work programme are taken and reports are accepted, adopted and approved. The IPCC Bureau Members, including the Chair, are also elected during the plenary Sessions.

Source: IPCC http://www.ipcc.ch/organization/organization.shtml

Joint Implementation (JI)


Website: http://ji.unfccc.int

The mechanism known as “joint implementation,” defined in Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol, allows a country with an emission reduction or limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to earn emission reduction units (ERUs) from an emission-reduction or emission removal project in another Annex B Party, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting its Kyoto target.

Joint implementation offers Parties a flexible and cost-efficient means of fulfilling a part of their Kyoto commitments, while the host Party benefits from foreign investment and technology transfer.

A JI project must provide a reduction in emissions by sources, or an enhancement of removals by sinks, that is additional to what would otherwise have occurred.  Projects must have approval of the host Party and participants have to be authorized to participate by a Party involved in the project.
Projects starting as from the year 2000 may be eligible as JI projects if they meet the relevant requirements, but ERUs may only be issued for a crediting period starting after the beginning of 2008.

If a host Party meets all of the eligibility requirements to transfer and/or acquire ERUs, it may verify emission reductions or enhancements of removals from a JI project as being additional to any that would otherwise occur. Upon such verification, the host Party may issue the appropriate quantity of ERUs. This procedure is commonly referred to as the “Track 1” procedure.”

If a host Party does not meet all, but only a limited set of eligibility requirements, verification of emission reductions or enhancements of removals as being additional has to be done through the verification procedure under the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC). Under this so-called “Track 2” procedure, an independent entity accredited by the JISC has to determine whether the relevant requirements have been met before the host Party can issue and transfer ERUs.

A host Party which meets all the eligibility requirements may at any time choose to use the verification procedure under the JISC (Track 2 procedure).

Source: Federal Environment Ministry http://www.bmub.bund.de/themen/klima-energie/klimaschutz/internationale-klimapolitik/glossar/#c14037  (German)



Document: Kyoto Protocol

Website: Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions .These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.

The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialized countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so.

Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh in 2001, and are called the “Marrakesh Accords.” nder the Treaty, countries must meet their targets primarily through national measures. However, the Kyoto Protocol offers them an additional means of meeting their targets by way of three market-based mechanisms.

The Kyoto mechanisms are: Emission trading – known as “the carbon market"  / Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)  and Joint Implementation (JI).
The Kyoto Protocol is generally seen as an important first step towards a truly global emission reduction regime that will stabilize GHG emissions, and provides the essential architecture for any future international agreement on climate change.

By the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012, a new international framework needs to have been negotiated and ratified that can deliver the stringent emission reductions the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has clearly indicated are needed.

Source: UNFCCC



Millennium Development Goals

Website: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/

The MDGs were established by the UN following the Millenium Summit in 2000 and the adaption of the Millenium Declaration. By 2015 the UN aimed to:

  • eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • achieve universal primary education
  • promote gender equality and empower women
  • reduce child mortality
  • improve maternal health
  • combat HIV/aids, malaria and other diseases
  • ensure environmental sustainability
  • establish global partnership for development




Montreal Protocol

Website: www.unep.ch/ozone

The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer is an outcome of international cooperation to tackle a major global environmental threat. Since its entry into force twenty years ago, in 1989, its Parties have continued to adapt the regime it established in response to scientific evidence and technological developments, most recently in 2007.

The production and consumption of entire groups of harmful ozone-depleting chemicals have been phased out in developed countries. The same process is also well under way in the developing world, with a major landmark due to be passed in January 2010, with the phase-out of CFCs, halons and most other categories of ozone-depleting substances in developing countries. Overall, almost ninety-five per cent of all ozone-depleting substances have been phased out.

Source: Department of Oceanography University of Bremen http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de/montreal_protocol_20y/eng/



Nationally Determined Contributions

NDCs reflect each country’s ambition for reducing emissions, taking into account its domestic circumstances and capabilities. By combining the UN's top-down system with a national bottom-up one they create a constructive feedback loop between national and international decision-making on climate change.





Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation

Website: www.un-redd.org

The UN-REDD Programme is the United Nations Collaborative initiative on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) in developing countries. The Programme was launched in September 2008 to assist developing countries prepare and implement national REDD+ strategies, and builds on the convening power and expertise of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) is an effort to create a financial value for the carbon stored in forests, offering incentives for developing countries to reduce emissions from forested lands and invest in low-carbon paths to sustainable development.

Source: UN-REDD


“REDD+” goes beyond deforestation and forest degradation, and includes the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks.

It is predicted that financial flows for greenhouse gas emission reductions from REDD+ could reach up to US$30 billion a year. This significant North-South flow of funds could reward a meaningful reduction of carbon emissions and could also support new, pro-poor development, help conserve biodiversity and secure vital ecosystem services.

Source: UN-REDD


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