IPCC Fourth Assessment Report: Climate Change 2007
Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change

Glossary J-P


Joint Implementation (JI)


A market-based implementation mechanism defined in Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol, allowing Annex I countries or companies from these countries to implement projects jointly that limit or reduce emissions or enhance sinks, and to share the Emissions Reduction Units. JI activity is also permitted in Article 4.2(a) of the UNFCCC. See also Activities Implemented Jointly and Kyoto Mechanisms.


Kyoto Mechanisms (also called Flexibility Mechanisms)


Economic mechanisms based on market principles that parties to the Kyoto Protocol can use in an attempt to lessen the potential economic impacts of greenhouse gas emission-reduction requirements. They include Joint Implementation (Article 6), Clean Development Mechanism (Article 12), and Emissions trading (Article 17).


Kyoto Protocol


The Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC was adopted at the Third Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) in 1997 in Kyoto. It contains legally binding commitments, in addition to those included in the FCCC. Annex B countries agreed to reduce their anthropogenic GHG emissions (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride) by at least 5% below 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008-2012. The Kyoto Protocol came into force on 16 February 2005.


Landfill


A landfill is a solid waste disposal site where waste is deposited below, at or above ground level. Limited to engineered sites with cover materials, controlled placement of waste and management of liquids and gases. It excludes uncontrolled waste disposal.


Land-use 


The total of arrangements, activities and inputs undertaken in a certain land-cover type (a set of human actions). The social and economic purposes for which land is managed (e.g., grazing, timber extraction, and conservation). Land-use change occurs when, e.g., forest is converted to agricultural land or to urban areas.


Leapfrogging


The ability of developing countries to bypass intermediate technologies and jump straight to advanced clean technologies. Leapfrogging can enable developing countries to move to a low-emissions development trajectory.


Learning by doing


As researchers and firms gain familiarity with a new technological process, or acquire experience through expanded production they can discover ways to improve processes and reduce cost. Learning by doing is a type of experience-based technological change.


Levelized cost price


The unique price of the outputs of a project that makes the present value of the revenues (benefits) equal to the present value of the costs over the lifetime of the project. See also discounting and present value.


Likelihood


The likelihood of an occurrence, outcome or result, where this can be estimated probabilistically, is expressed in IPCC reports using a standard terminology:


Particular, or a range of,


occurrences/out­comes of an uncertain 


event owning a probability of

 
 are said to be:  
>99% Virtually certain 
>90% Very likely 
>66% Likely 
33 to 66% About as likely as not 
<33% Unlikely 
<10% Very unlikely 
<1% Exceptionally unlikely 
Lock-in effect


Technologies that cover large market shares continue to be used due to factors such as sunk investment costs, related infrastructure development, use of complementary technologies and associated social and institutional habits and structures.


Low-carbon technology


A technology that over its life cycle causes less CO2-eq. emissions than other technological options do. See also Environmentally sustainable technologies.


Macroeconomic costs


These costs are usually measured as changes in Gross Domestic Product or changes in the growth of Gross Domestic Product, or as loss of welfare or consumption.


Marginal cost pricing


The pricing of goods and services such that the price equals the additional cost arising when production is expanded by one unit. Economic theory shows that this way of pricing maximizes social welfare in a first-best economy.


Market barriers


In the context of climate change mitigation, market barriers are conditions that prevent or impede the diffusion of cost-effective technologies or practices that would mitigate GHG emissions.


Market-based regulation


Regulatory approaches using price mechanisms (e.g., taxes and auctioned tradable permits), among other instruments, to reduce GHG emissions.


Market distortions and imperfections 


In practice, markets will always exhibit distortions and imperfections such as lack of information, distorted price signals, lack of competition, and/or institutional failures related to regulation, inadequate delineation of property rights, distortion-inducing fiscal systems, and limited financial markets


Market equilibrium


The point at which the demand for goods and services equals the supply; often described in terms of price levels, determined in a competitive market, ‘clearing’ the market.


Market Exchange Rate (MER)


This is the rate at which foreign currencies are exchanged. Most economies post such rates daily and they vary little across all the exchanges. For some developing economies official rates and black-market rates may differ significantly and the MER is difficult to pin down.


Material efficiency options


In this report, options to reduce GHG emissions by decreasing the volume of materials needed for a certain product or service


Measures


Measures are technologies, processes, and practices that reduce GHG emissions or effects below anticipated future levels. Examples of measures are renewable energy technologies, waste minimization processes and public transport commuting practices, etc. See also policies.


Methane (CH4)


Methane is one of the six greenhouse gases to be mitigated under the Kyoto Protocol. It is the major component of natural gas and associated with all hydrocarbon fuels, animal husbandry and agriculture. Coal-bed methane is the gas found in coal seams.


Methane recovery


Methane emissions, e.g., from oil or gas wells, coal beds, peat bogs, gas transmission pipelines, landfills, or anaerobic digesters, are captured and used as a fuel or for some other economic purpose (e.g., chemical feedstock).


Meeting of the Parties (to the Kyoto Protocol) (MOP)


The Conference of the Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC serves as the Meeting of the Parties (MOP), the supreme body of the Kyoto Protocol, since the latter entered into force on 16 February 2005. Only parties to the Kyoto Protocol may participate in deliberations and make decisions.


Millennium Development Goals (MDG)


A set of time-bound and measurable goals for combating poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, discrimination against women and environmental degradation, agreed at the UN Millennium Summit in 2000.


Mitigation


Technological change and substitution that reduce resource inputs and emissions per unit of output. Although several social, economic and technological policies would produce an emission reduction, with respect to climate change, mitigation means implementing policies to reduce GHG emissions and enhance sinks.


Mitigative capacity


This is a country’s ability to reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions or to enhance natural sinks, where ability refers to skills, competencies, fitness and proficiencies that a country has attained and depends on technology, institutions, wealth, equity, infrastructure and information. Mitigative capacity is rooted in a country’s sustainable development path.


Montreal Protocol


The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was adopted in Montreal in 1987, and subsequently adjusted and amended in London (1990), Copenhagen (1992), Vienna (1995), Montreal (1997) and Beijing (1999). It controls the consumption and production of chlorine- and bromine-containing chemicals that destroy stratospheric ozone, such as chlorofluorocarbons, methyl chloroform, carbon tetrachloride, and many others.


Multi-attribute analysis. 


Integrates different decision parameters and values in a quantitative analysis without assigning monetary values to all parameters. Multi-attribute analysis can combine quantitative and qualitative information.


Multi-gas 


Next to CO2 also the other greenhouse gases (methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases) are taken into account in e.g. achieving reduction of emissions (multi-gas reduction) or stabilization of concentrations (multi-gas stabilization).


National Action Plans


Plans submitted to the COP by parties outlining the steps that they have adopted to limit their anthropogenic GHG emissions. Countries must submit these plans as a condition of participating in the UNFCCC and, subsequently, must communicate their progress to the COP regularly. The National Action Plans form part of the National Communications, which include the national inventory of GHG sources and sinks.


Net anthropogenic greenhouse gas removals by sinks


For CDM afforestation and reforestation projects, ‘net anthropogenic GHG removals by sinks’ equals the actual net GHG removals by sinks minus the baseline net GHG removals by sinks minus leakage.


Nitrous oxide (N2O)


One of the six types of greenhouse gases to be curbed under the Kyoto Protocol.


Non-Annex I Countries/Parties


The countries that have ratified or acceded to the UNFCCC but are not included in Annex I.


Non-Annex B Countries/Parties


The countries not included in Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol.


No-regret policy (options / potential)


Such policy would generate net social benefits whether or not there is climate change associated with anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. No-regret options for GHG emissions reduction refer to options whose benefits (such as reduced energy costs and reduced emissions of local/regional pollutants) equal or exceed their costs to society, excluding the benefits of avoided climate change. 


Normative analysis


Economic analysis in which judgments about the desirability of various policies are made. The conclusions rest on value judgments as well as on facts and theories.


Oil sands and oil shale


Unconsolidated porous sands, sandstone rock and shales containing bituminous material that can be mined and converted to a liquid fuel.


Opportunities


Circumstances to decrease the gap between the market potential of any technology or practice and the economic potential or technical potential.


Ozone (O3)


Ozone, the tri-atomic form of oxygen, is a gaseous atmospheric constituent. In the troposphere, ozone is created both naturally and by photochemical reactions involving gases resulting from human activities. Troposphere ozone acts as a greenhouse gas. In the stratosphere, ozone is created by the interaction between solar ultraviolet radiation and molecular oxygen (O2). Stratospheric ozone plays a dominant role in the stratospheric radiative balance. Its concentration is highest in the ozone layer.


Pareto criterion 


A criterion testing whether an individual’s welfare can be increased without making others in the society worse off. A Pareto improvement occurs when an individual’s welfare is improved without making the welfare of the rest of society worse off. A Pareto optimum is reached when no one’s welfare can be increased without making the welfare of the rest of society worse off, given a particular distribution of income. Different income distributions lead to different Pareto optima. 


Passive solar design


Structural design and construction techniques that enable a building to utilize solar energy for heating, cooling, and lighting by non-mechanical means.


Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)


Among the six greenhouse gases to be abated under the Kyoto Protocol. These are by-products of aluminium smelting and uranium enrichment. They also replace chlorofluorocarbons in manufacturing semiconductors. The Global Warming Potential of PFCs is 6500–9200.


Policies 


In UNFCCC parlance, policies are taken and/or mandated by a government - often in conjunction with business and industry within its own country, or with other countries - to accelerate mitigation and adaptation measures. Examples of policies are carbon or other energy taxes, fuel efficiency standards for automobiles, etc. Common and co-ordinated or harmonised policies refer to those adopted jointly by parties. See also measures.


Portfolio analysis 


Deals with a portfolio of assets or policies that are characterized by different risks and pay-offs. The objective function is built up around the variability of returns and their risks, leading up to the decision rule to choose the portfolio with highest expected return.


Post-consumer waste


Waste from consumption activities, e.g. packaging materials, paper, glass, rests from fruits and vegetables, etc.


Potential 


In the context of climate change, potential is the amount of mitigation or adaptation that could be - but is not yet – realized over time. As potential levels are identified: market, economic, technical and physical.


  • Market potential indicates the amount of GHG mitigation that might be expected to occur under forecast market conditions including policies and measures in place at the time.. It is based on private unit costs and discount rates, as they appear in the base year and as they are expected to change in the absence of any additional policies and measures.

  • Economic potential is in most studies used as the amount of GHG mitigation that is cost-effective for a given carbon price, based on social cost pricing and discount rates, including energy savings, but without most externalities. Theoretically, it is defined as the potential for cost-effective GHG mitigation when non-market social costs and benefits are included with market costs and benefits in assessing the options for particular levels of carbon prices (as affected by mitigation policies) and when using social discount rates instead of private ones. This includes externalities, i.e., non-market costs and benefits such as environmental co-benefits

  • Technical potential is the amount by which it is possible to reduce GHG emissions or improve energy efficiency by implementing a technology or practice that has already been demonstrated. No explicit reference to costs is made but adopting ‘practical constraints’ may take into account implicit economic considerations. 

  • Physical potential is the theoretical (thermodynamic) and sometimes, in practice, rather uncertain upper limit to mitigation. 

Precautionary Principle 


A provision under Article 3 of the UNFCCC, stipulating that the parties should take precautionary measures to anticipate, prevent or minimize the causes of climate change and mitigate its adverse effects. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason to postpone such measures, taking into account that policies and measures to deal with climate change should be cost-effective in order to ensure global benefits at the lowest possible cost.


Precursors


Atmospheric compounds which themselves are not greenhouse gases or aerosols, but which have an effect on greenhouse gas or aerosol concentrations by taking part in physical or chemical processes regulating their production or destruction rates.


Pre-industrial


The era before the industrial revolution of the late 18th and 19th centuries, after which the use of fossil fuel for mechanization started to increase. 


Present value 


The value of a money amount differs when the amount is available at different moments in time (years). To make amounts at differing times comparable and additive, a date is fixed as the ‘present’. Amounts available at different dates in the future are discounted back to a present value, and summed to get the present value of a series of future cash flows. Net present value is the difference between the present value of the revenues (benefits) with the present value of the costs. See also discounting.


Price elasticity of demand


The ratio of the percentage change in the quantity of demand for a good or service to one percentage change in the price of that good or service. When the absolute value of the elasticity is between 0 and 1, demand is called inelastic; when it is greater than one, demand is called elastic. 


‘Primary market’ and ‘secondary market’ trading


In commodities and financial exchanges, buyers and sellers who trade directly with each other constitute the ‘primary market’, while buying and selling through exchange facilities represent the ‘secondary market’.


Production frontier


The maximum outputs attainable with the optimal uses of available inputs (natural resources, labour, capital, information).


Public sector leadership programmes in energy efficiency


Government purchasing and procurement of energy-efficient products and services. Government agencies are responsible for a wide range of energy-consuming facilities and services such as government office buildings, schools, and health care facilities. The government is often a country’s largest consumer of energy and largest buyer of energy-using equipment. Indirect beneficial impacts occur when governments act effectively as market leaders. First, government buying power can create or expand demand for energy-efficient products and services. Second, visible government energy-saving actions can serve as an example for others. 


Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)


The purchasing power of a currency is expressed using a basket of goods and services that can be bought with a given amount in the home country. International comparison of, e.g., Gross Domestic Products of countries can be based on the purchasing power of currencies rather than on current exchange rates. PPP estimates tend to lower per capita GDPs in industrialized countries and raise per capita GDPs in developing countries. (PPP is also an acronym for polluter-pays-principle).