Definitions & Sources

Some Definitions

Adaptation:  Actions that can help people or natural systems adjust to the actual or expected impacts of climate change.

CO2e:    Carbon dioxide equivalent. This is a way to describe different greenhouse gases on a common scale that relates the warming effect of a gas to that of carbon dioxide..

Embodied emissions:    The sum of emissions involved in making a product, sometimes termed the “carbon footprint”.

GHG (Greenhouse Gas): Atmospheric gases that trap heat and contribute to climate change. The gases covered by NZ’s climate change legislation are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).  

Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A comprehensive global standardised framework to measure and manage greenhouse gas emissions.

Gross emissions: These include total greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, energy, industrial processes, product use, and waste. (Greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use change and forestry are excluded).

ISO 14064: This standard provides governments, businesses, regions and other organisations with a complementary set of tools for programs to quantify, monitor, report and verify greenhouse gas emissions.

Mitigation: Human actions to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases or to enhance removals of these. Examples of reducing emissions includes walking instead of driving or replacing a coal boiler with a renewable electric powered one. An example of enhancing removals include growing trees to absorb carbon.

Net emissions: These differ from gross emissions in that they also include emissions from land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) as well as removals of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, for example due to the growth of trees.

NZ ETS: New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

Organic waste:  Waste containing organic matter that decays to create methane emissions.

Paris Agreement: An international treaty under the UNFCCC to address climate change after 2020.

Scopes 1,2,3: The three classes of an organisation’s GHG emissions. See FAQ ‘Do we need to include emissions that we don’t directly control?’

UNFCCC: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is the major foundation global treaty focused on climate change that was signed in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Some Useful Sources

‘Drawdown: The most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming’, ed. By Paul Hawken, Penguin 2018

Kate Raworth on ‘Doughnut Economics: Seven Ways to Think Like a 21st Century Economist’

‘Our Regenerative Future’ (media articles)

‘The New Economy: Resilience and Regeneration’, SBN presentation, 18 April 2020: Hon James Shaw, SBN CEO Rachel Brown,  Z Energy CEO Mike Bennetts & Zilch CEO Kirsten Corson. 

Rod Oram: RNZ Nine to Noon (most Tuesdays, 11.06am); regular articles (e.g. Newsroom) highly recommended for business commentary in which the environment counts.

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