Glossary | Climate Lexicon

carbon-connect AG Climate Glossary with common technical terms, abbreviations and explanations on the topics of the environment, climate protection and CO2 compensation.

Abrupt Climate Change

An abrupt climate change or “climate jump” describes the rapid climate change to a new climate state. This has a serious impact on our habitats because ecosystems have to adapt to the new conditions over a short period of time. Such a “climate jump” occurs when a climate change occurs too quickly and unexpectedly. The last abrupt climate change took place during the Younger Dryas (Knud Jessen). Climate Jumps can occur within decades or even years.

Acidification of our Seas and Oceans

A sinking pH value in our seawater indicates an increasing acidification of our oceans. This sinking pH value is caused by the absorption of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere in oceans. In addition to global warming, this is the main consequence of the human-induced emission of carbon dioxide (CO2). The acidification of oceans affects lifeforms such as fish, corals, plankton and mussels.


Additionality refers to the ability of a projection or measure to avoid additional greenhouse gas emissions that would not have been reduced without the project or measure. In terms of emission reduction projects, this means that the project actually avoids additional emissions that would not have been reduced by other factors such as regulatory requirements or normal business practices.
In terms of climate change mitigation, additionality is important because it ensures that emission reduction projects actually contribute to climate change mitigation goals and are not just "business as usual." Certification standards such as the UNFCCC's Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Verified Carbon Standard (VERRA, VCS) have developed rules and procedures to ensure that projects meet additionality requirements.


An Area Development Program (ADP) is a program that takes place and is implemented in a specific area. It is usually a coordinated collaboration of government agencies, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations to improve the economic, social, and infrastructure needs of an area.

AFOLU / Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use

AFOLU stands for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use.
The AFOLU (Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use) sector is responsible for nearly a quarter of all man-made CO2 emissions.

AFOLU activities, such as land use change, forest clearing (deforestation), land management, and livestock production, are a major driver of man-made carbon emissions and can both release greenhouse gas emissions and act as sinks.

To reduce the climate impacts of AFOLU activities, measures are implemented to promote sustainable land use and sustainable land management that promote climate change mitigation as well as economic development and biodiversity conservation. The following measures can be implemented:

  • Sustainable land use: sustainable land use that conserves biodiversity and agricultural resources can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Forestry: Forestry plays an important role in regulating the carbon cycle and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Measures such as afforestation and reforestation, as well as the preservation of natural forests, can contribute.
  • Land management: changing agricultural practices, such as using sustainable land management and livestock production methods, can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by switching to regenerative agriculture and using biofuels, can help reduce overall emissions.

Agricultural fuel

A liquid fuel produced from organic or combustible oils. It is based on agricultural products such as grain, rapeseed, sugar cane or wood. They are used as an alternative to fossil fuels such as gasoline or diesel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and decrease dependence on fossil fuels. Agricultural fuels can be produced in the form of biodiesel, biofuels for aircraft or biogas.


Includes the group of countries listed in Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol that have agreed on a target for their greenhouse gas emissions. The Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement (December 1997) aims to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The goal was to reduce CO2 emissions by 5.2% from 1990 levels by 2012. Annex B countries include the member states of the European Union, the member states of the European Economic Area, the United States, Canada, Russia and other developed countries.


Under the Kyoto Protocol, all Annex I countries listed in Annex I (Appendix I) have committed themselves to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5.1% under the levels of the year 1990 by 2020. The term Annex-I-States is also used as a synonym for all industrialized countries and includes all OECD countries (except South Korea and Mexico), it also includes all Eastern European countries (except the Balkan states).


Includes the group of countries listed in Annex II (Appendix 2) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and includes all OECD countries of the year 1990. Annex II states are expected to provide financial support to assist developing countries in fulfilling their obligations.

Antarctic ice sheet

The Greenland Ice Sheet and the Antarctic Ice Sheet are the two remaining ice sheets on the planet. 70% of the world's freshwater resources are in the Antarctic. In case of a complete melting of the Antarctic, the sea level would increase by 56 meters.


Described as caused or produced by humans. The term is often used in the context of environmental and climate science to describe changes or impacts that are due to human activity, as opposed to natural causes.

Arid Area

An arid area is a low precipitation area. Low is defined as less than 250 mm of precipitation per year.