Glossary for Austrian World Summit 2021

1.5 Degrees Celsius Warming: Read a report from NASA about why Earth’s natural and human systems are sensitive to a warming climate and why we are concerned about 1.5 degrees Celsius warming.

Adaptation: Adaptation- adapting to life in a changing climate – involves adjusting to actual or expected future climate. The goal is to reduce our vulnerability to the harmful effects of climate change (like sea-level encroachment, more intense extreme weather events or food insecurity). It also encompasses making the most of any potential beneficial opportunities associated with climate change (for example, longer growing seasons or increased yields in some regions).

Conference of the Parties (COP26): The COP26 summit will bring parties together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UK is committed to working with all countries and joining forces with civil society, companies and people on the frontline of climate change to inspire climate action ahead of COP26.

At COP21, the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, was adopted by 196 Parties. Its goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels.

Find out more about COP26 by watching Arnold’s Stammtisch with COP26 President Alok Sharma.

Carbon Free: Carbon free means no carbon dioxide emissions are created in the process.

Carbon Neutral: Carbon neutral means that as much carbon dioxide is being removed from the atmosphere as is being emitted into it. The net amount of carbon emissions is balanced to zero.

Environmental Justice: People of Color and disadvantaged communities are disproportionately impacted by air pollution and climate change. Environmental justice is the concept that all people deserve the same degree of environmental protection and access to clean air.

Emissions: Emissions is the term used to describe the gases and particles which are put into the air or emitted by various sources.

Energy Efficiency: Energy waste is eliminated by using less energy to perform the same task. This helps reduce the demand for energy and can lower costs.

Fuel Cell: A fuel cell uses the chemical energy of hydrogen or another fuel to cleanly and efficiently produce electricity. If hydrogen is the fuel, electricity, water, and heat are the only products. Fuel cells are unique in terms of the variety of their potential applications; they can provide power for systems as large as a utility power station and as small as a laptop computer.

G-7: The Group of Seven is an inter-governmental political forum consisting of Canada, France, German, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The member countries consist of the world’s most advanced and wealthiest economies. This group is organized around the values of pluralism and representative government.

Greenhouse Gases: Gases in the earth’s atmosphere that trap heat.They let sunlight pass through the atmosphere, but they prevent the heat that the sunlight brings from leaving the atmosphere. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

Hydrogen Energy: Hydrogen is a clean fuel that, when consumed in a fuel cell, produces only water. Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of domestic resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewable power like solar and wind. These qualities make it an attractive fuel option for transportation and electricity generation applications.

Mitigation: Mitigation – reducing climate change – involves reducing the flow of heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, either by reducing sources of these gases (for example, the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, heat or transport) or enhancing the “sinks” that accumulate and store these gases (such as the oceans, forests and soil). The goal of mitigation is to avoid significant human interference with the climate system.

Net Zero: A balance between all emissions produced and the emissions removed from the atmosphere. For example, a net-zero home generates as much energy as it uses. 

Renewable Energy: Renewable energy, often referred to as clean energy, comes from natural sources or processes that are constantly replenished like wind, solar, hydro and geothermal.