Highlights

  • There's always a new climate change-related term somewhere
  • Net zero is the most used term with PM Modi pledging net zero for India by 2070
  • Climate financing is another buzzy term to keep in mind as nations demand accountability

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Carbon market, net zero, degrowth! Keeping up with the climate glossary

Global discussions on climate change are bundled with a lot of new and ever-evolving climate jargon. 

Like most things that actually matter to common people, global discussions on climate change are riddled with a lot of climate jargon.

Here is a quick breakdown of some of the ‘hottest’ climate terms right now:

Net zero emissions: Net zero refers to a situation where the amount of carbon emitted is equal to the amount of carbon being removed which can be done via carbon credits or carbon offsets. PM Modi pledged net zero for India by 2070 at COP26.

SEE MORE COP26 Summit: Here's how India could achieve zero carbon emissions

Carbon market: This refers to the trading system in which countries may buy or sell units of greenhouse-gas emissions in an effort to meet their national limits on emissions through an agreement such as the Kyoto Protocol.

Climate finance: This is financing that seeks to support mitigation efforts. In 2015, developed countries promised $100 billion a year to the less wealthy nations by 2020 to help them adapt, mitigate and cope with climate problems. The promise remains unfulfilled.

SEE MORE Rain, floods, landslides: how climate change is affecting Uttarakhand

Just transition: It is known that rich nations have already built their economies while polluting the world so a just transition simply means a move towards a low carbon world without hampering development in weaker economies and sections of society.

Carbon sink: An ecosystem or place that absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases. A carbon sink is not permanent and the Amazon rainforest is a great example.

Natural capital: An umbrella term for elements of nature that provide ecosystem benefits such as CO2 sequestration or removal, protection from soil erosion and flood risk, habitats for wildlife, pollination and areas for recreation and well-being.

Nationally determined contributions: NDCs are a countries’ self-determined reduction targets and action plan with a stipulated but non-binding timeline. Countries are supposed to update them every five years.

Degrowth: An alternative way of looking at ‘growth’ where GDP is not the primary measure of growth for an economy. This line of thought calls upon rich countries to focus development on sectors that improve human well-being while scaling back on industries that hurt the environment.

Tipping point: The point or points of 'no return' after which our efforts and small changes will not be enough to reverse global warming.

SEE MORE What is COP26 and why is it the world's last chance for climate action?

Resilience: It is the ability of a country or community to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to hazardous events, trends, or disturbances related to climate

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