Home Glossary





Assigned amount units

One of the currencies of the Kyoto Protocol one AAU represents one tonne of C02 equivalent


Australian Carbon Credit Units

From the carbon farming initiative in Australia, supposedly saleable outside Australia, presumptively equivalent to an AAU.


A concept to judge whether a project is eligible or otherwise for carbon credits

A concept to describe a project that would not proceed if not for carbon credits. A project is additional if it meets this hurdle that is it is not business as usual (BAU). Establishing additionality under the CDM involves several tests including financial additionality and common practice. Under the Australian CFI this is simplified to common practice in the region where the project is to be implemented.


Australian Emissions trading Scheme

Legislation for such a scheme starting in 2015 preceded by a carbon tax from 2012


Activities implemented jointly

Under the UNFCCC, the term for an emissions reduction or carbon offset project where a developed country funds a project in a developing country superceded by the CDM.

Annex B

Those countries with emissions caps under Kyoto

39 emissions capped countries able to trade emissions.

Annex I

Countries covered in Annex 1 of the UNFCCC in the Berlin Mandate in 1995

36 industrialised countries  plus those with economies in transition who can host JI and purchase CDM credits

Annex II

Countries covered in Annex II of the UNFCCC

Countries (original OECD plus EU) with an obligation to assist the economies in transition with emissions reductions


Afforestation and Reforestation

Establishing a forest estate where one did not exist previously or existed at some time in the past.


Business as usual

Reference to the outcome if there is no intervention or regulation specifically aimed at GHG emissions


Carbon Dioxide

A greenhouse gas, approximately 0.03% of the Earths atmosphere by volume.

C02 emissions occur through combustion of fossil fuels and some industrial processes. Natural emissions of C02 also occur with the oceans, biomass decomposition and in the land


Carbon Accounting Area

Used in the New Zealand ETS this is the geographical area of forest for which a forest owner will claim New Zealand Units. Many forest owners simply made their whole forest on CAA. This was a mistake, and the only way to correct this is to exit the NZETS and to surrender any credits that have been sold, then re enter the NZETS with revised CAA areas. Proper advice must be sought when deciding to allocate CAA and to understand the consequences


Clean Development Mechanism

The mechanism whereby a Annex I country can initiate projects in a developing country that has no emissions cap and gains credits (CER) that can be used in an Annex B country to offset emissions in excess of assigned amount under Kyoto


Certified Emission Reductions

Annex I investors in CDM projects can earn Certified emission reduction units (CERs) equivalent to one tonne of C02 for the amount of greenhouse emission reductions achieved by their CDM projects.



The gas used to operate your fridge


Carbon Farming Initiative

Australian legislation on land use and carbon credits. Additionality test based on common practice. Monoculture excluded as is changing forest management of plantation forests. Creates Kyoto and Non Kyoto credits (for example soil carbon from tillage)



Gas generated by grazing animals and decay of organic matter; 21 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas see GWP.


Coordinating/Managing Entity

Party that runs a program of activities


Conference of the parties

The conference where the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change discuss and agree on the technical implementation of the Kyoto Protocol


CDM program activity

Project definition under a program of activities (POA) under the CDM


Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme

Australia’s name for the legislation that may give rise to an emissions trading scheme (ETS) in Australia. Deferred as of 2010 to 2013 depending on whether the government changes in September 2010


Certified tradable offsets

Emissions offsets issued and backed by the Costa Rican government from a reforestation project


Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority

The New Zealand Government funded body charged with determining and implementing practical measures for achieving greater energy efficiency


Economies in transition

The Central and East European countries, Russia, and the former republics of the Soviet Union that are in transition from centrally-planned economies to market-based economies.

Emissions Factor(s)

The greenhouse gas content of a given activity

A set of standardised factors normally issued by IPCC (specialised factors unique to an activity can be applied for under the NZETS) that specify how much GHG is created for a given activity, for example combusting a litre of diesel. A database of emissions factors is at www.emissionfactors.com


Emissions Reduction Purchase Agreement

A bilateral agreement between two parties to transfer emissions credits on terms specified in that agreement. Typically these are Kyoto Compliant credits


Emissions reduction unit

The unit of emission reduction achieved through a JI


Emissions trading scheme

Country’s implementation of the Kyoto Protocol within its sovereign boundaries in the form of trading carbon credits


EU allowances

Emissions allowances under the 2003 EU emissions trading scheme approved by the EU parliament in June 2003


European Emissions Trading Scheme

Initially started in 2005 the EU ETS ran to the end of 2007 before becoming the EU implementation of the Kyoto Protocol for 2008-2012. Limited to the electricity and energy sector the EU ETS will extend shortly to Aviation


Emissions unit registry

Established to comply with the Kyoto Protocol under the NZETS www.eur.govt.nz Other countries have similar registries


Field measurement approach

Forest based field measurement rules under the NZETS applicable for participants with over 100ha requiring measurement of MAF assigned sample plots once every commitment period. From these MAF supplies site specific look up tables

First Commitment Period


The period under which Annex B countries will be subject to an emissions cap under the Kyoto Protocol


Fraudulent activities in the EUETS

Two types have fraud have emerged. VAT or GST fraud, and fraudulent transactions involving stolen EUA units. These capitalise on the lack of a central EU registry for carbon credits


Describing the interchange ability of type of emission reduction units

In the interests of having one grade of credit all credits no matter what their source must have equal characteristics and therefore be interchangeable.


Greenhouse Gas Offset Cost Assessment Decision making



Greenhouse gases

The gases that trap solar radiation and help the earth to be habitable by maintaining the temperature.  The Kyoto Protocol recognises six that contribute to the “enhanced greenhouse effect”.  These are CO2, CH4, N20, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and SF6



The process where an existing use right governs allocations of AAU. See sulphur dioxide trading US EPA


Global warming potential

The factor by which the same amount of a specific GHG is more effective in terms of global warming compared to C02



HFC are commonly used as a replacement for ozone depleting substances


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The UN body that undertakes scientific assessments of climate change including climate change science, impacts, adaptation, and mitigation options


Joint Implementation

The mechanism where a developed country funds a project in another developed country and the credit vests in the funding country

Kyoto or Kyoto Protocol

A city in Japan

This city hosted COP3 in December 1997. COP3 adopted a protocol hence the Kyoto Protocol

Look Up Table


For measuring the increase in NZU units for a given forest under the NZETS. These are regional tables. See FMA for site specific tables.


Land use, land use change and forestry

Covered by Article 3.3 and 3.4 of the Kyoto Protocol


Nitrous Oxide

Global warming potential of 310


Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions

www.nama-database.org another scheme for incentivising emissions reductions in developing countries post 2012 originally proposed by Korea in April 2009 designed to build on the CDM and use existing CDM methodologies focused on sustainable development


National Carbon Accounting System (Australia)

Scientific system to account for land-based carbon to an internationally credible standard

Non Annex B

Countries without emissions caps under Kyoto


Non Annex I

Developing countries

Countries able to host CDM projects


New Zealand Emissions Trading System

System used to implement the Kyoto Protocol regulations within New Zealand to ensure NZ meets its Kyoto Obligations


New Zealand Emissions Units register

The electronic register of units issued under the NZ ETS. www.eur.govt.nz


New Zealand Institute of Forestry

The professional body that certifies forest managers in New Zealand


New Zealand Unit

The fundamental unit of trade representing one tonne of CO2 in the NZETS stored in the NZ emissions registry


Program of activities

Umbrella structure for a group of similar projects to be registered under the CDM





Permanent Forest Sinks Initiative

NZ system to allow credit to be issued for the regeneration of native bush


Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation

From emissions avoided by degradation of carbon stocks in forestry not eligible for CDM.  REDD may be included Post 2012


REDD with extension

REDD extended to include community and other factors outside forest conservation but associated with it



A RESERVOIR means a component or components of the climate system where a greenhouse gas is stored


Removal Units

From COP7, representative of the removal of one tonne of C02 from the atmosphere by forest based carbon sequestration. Not able to be banked between commitment periods


Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technical Advice

One of the bodies advising the UNFCCC on the scientific basis for implementation of policy


Sulphur hexafluoride

A by product from manufacturing, particularly aluminium smelting



A SINK is any process, activity or mechanism that removes a GHG, an aerosol or a precursor to a GHG from the atmosphere.



A SOURCE is any process, activity or mechanism that releases a GHG, an aerosol or a precursor to a GHG into the atmosphere.


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

The international agreement on climate change which came into force in March 1994.


Voluntary Agreements

The name for the non mandatory agreements between NZ government and industry which address GHG emissions arising from the 1995 to 2000 industry program.


Voluntary Carbon Standard now Verified Carbon Standard

Leading non compliance standard www.v.-c-s.org



Unit associated with VCS. Issued to an approved registry such as Markit complying with an approved VCS methodology


Voluntary Emissions Reductions

Characterising the voluntary emissions market a VER represents one tonne of Co2 http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2008/080219a.htm some debate suggest this also means Verified Emissions Reductions.


Voluntary Emissions Reductions Purchase Agreement

A bilateral agreement between two parties to transfer emissions credits on terms specified in that agreement. Typically these are voluntary as opposed to compliance credits (erpa)