COP27: Climate buzz words you need to know

As world leaders, activists & diplomats meet in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt for this year’s climate conference, here’s a glossary of climate change words.


Countries that came together for the Paris Agreement also promised to take efforts to keep the temperature rise below 1.5 degree Celsius to avoid catastrophic effects of climate change. The world however is likely to witness a 2.7 degree Celsius rise even though all the pledges made till date are delivered.


“Common But Differentiated Responsibilities” got its mention in the Kyoto accord. The principle says that rich countries which had produced more emissions in the past should take the lead in tackling climate change.


It’s an economy where reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling materials as long as possible in a way to extend the lifespan of the products.


The term is seen as a synonym for renewable energy but that’s not convincing. Renewable energy comes from natural resources like wind or solar while clean energy includes nuclear and carbon capture technologies.


This is the method of modifying the social and economic policies keeping the adverse effects of climate change in focus.


Richer countries agreed in 2009 to contribute $100 billion together each year by 2020 to help the developing world to reduce the impact of global warming. The target is still not met and it was extended in 2015 to get this through 2025.


These are the efforts taken to dodge the catastrophic effects of climate change by adopting renewable energy, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and so on.


This agreement was signed last year at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland. The pact is seen as a breakthrough among climate activists, world leaders and diplomats for mentioning the phasing down of fossil fuels for the first time in a climate agreement.


The idea of moving away the capital from unsustainable sectors like fossil fuels to sustainable ones like renewable energy. This has been a thorny subject at the summits bringing in rift between the rich countries and the developing countries whose economies rely on fossil fuels.


The term is defined as a shift to a low carbon economy to minimise the disruption of moving away from fossil fuels.


The developing countries stress for an agreed basis to assess liability for the loss and damage caused by climate change and calculate compensation.


Nationally Determined Contributions are commitments countries make individually to reduce their carbon emissions. Countries will update them every five years and all signatories have presented new pledges in Glasgow.


These are targets for companies and countries across the world to reduce carbon emissions to as close to zero as possible by switching from highly polluting coal fired plants to renewable energy methods.


Adopted at COP 21 in Paris in 2015, this accord came into force in Nov 2016. The ultimate aim of this agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2 degree Celsius. This long term temperature goal is a landmark moment as it brought 196 parties to a common cause to reduce greenhouse gases responsible for warming the planet’s atmosphere to become climate-neutral by mid-century.


Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in 2015 by 193 countries. SDGs are a set of objectives that deal with poverty alleviation, protection of the environment and for the peace and prosperity of the world.

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