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Climate and ecological emergency strategy - Glossary

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Glossary of terms

Business as usual (BAU)

Future emissions trend if the current state of affairs continue as they are today.

Carbon budget

The cumulative amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that can be emitted over a period of time to keep within a certain threshold.

Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)

CO2e, or carbon dioxide equivalent, is a standard unit used to measure carbon footprints. It presents the impact of different greenhouse gases in terms of the amount of CO2 that would create the same amount of warming, thus allowing one figure to be used. CO2 is used as this is the most prevalent greenhouse gas.

Carbon neutral

Having no net release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Climate change

The long-term change of climate typically measured over decades or longer. This is different to weather, which is short-timescale variations.

Carbon Offsetting

Practices and technologies to neutralise remaining emissions that cannot be stopped entirely at source.


Preventing climate change from getting worse by reducing our carbon dioxide emissions.


Executive Advisory Panel

Greenhouse gas (GHG)

The Earth can maintain a regular average temperature (about 15°C), despite heat leaving the planet’s surface. This is because a layer of gases in the atmosphere absorb and release heat – a process known as the greenhouse effect. Greenhouse gases are those that have this effect, each with differing lifetimes and abilities to capture heat (infrared radiation).


The ability of a system and its component parts to anticipate, absorb, accommodate, or recover from the effects of a hazardous event in a timely and efficient manner - through ensuring the preservation, restoration, or improvement of its essential basic structures and functions.

Carbon sequestration

A natural or artificial process by which carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere and held in solid or liquid form.

Natural assets / capital

The stocks of environmental resources that are vital for the physical wellbeing of the population - such as clean air and water, biodiversity, natural flood protection, and healthy soils.


Local Enterprise Partnership


Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty


Local Nature Partnership


Committee on Climate Change

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