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Glossary of Terms: A

Abatement: The reduction in the quantity or intensity of greenhouse gas emissions

Acid Rain Program: A program in the United States established under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 which employs a cap and trade system for reducing SO2 emissions from power plants.

Accredited Independent Entity (AIE): An entity accredited by the JISC, which is responsible for the determination of whether a project and the ensuing reductions of anthropogenic emissions by sources or enhancements of anthropogenic removals by sinks meet the relevant requirements of Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol and the JI guidelines.

Adaptation Fund: The Adaptation Fund was established to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The Fund is to be financed with a share of proceeds from clean development mechanism (CDM) project activities and receive funds from other sources.

Additionality: Under the Kyoto Protocol Articles on Joint Implementation and the Clean Development Mechanism, Emissions Reduction Units (ERUs) will be awarded to project-based activities provided that the projects achieve reductions that are "additional to those that otherwise would occur". A distinction is made between environmental additionality and economic/financial additionality.

Financial additionality means projects will only earn credit if funds additional to existing ODA commitments are specifically committed to achieve the greenhouse gas reductions.

Environmental additionality requires that emission reductions represent a physical reduction or avoidance of emissions over what would have occurred under a business as usual scenario.

Under the US greenhouse gas program, reductions are considered to be additional if they represent reductions that would not have occurred without the credit-producing project.

Adipic Acid: Industrial production of adipic acid causes emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) as a byproduct. Adipic acid is used primarily for production of nylon fibers and plastics, plasticizer for polyvinyl chloride, etc.

Afforestation: Planting of new forests on lands that historically have not contained forests.

Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS): A group of countries formed during the Second World Climate Conference in 1990 that includes 35 states from the Atlantic, Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and Pacific. AOSIS countries are small islands and low-lying coastal developing countries that are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change such as sea level rise, coral bleaching and the increased frequency and intensity of tropical storms. These countries share a common objective on environmental and sustainable development matters

Allocation: The number of credits or allowances that an affected source holds for a specific compliance year.

Allotment Trading Units: In the Illinois ERMs program, an ATU is the tradeable unit issued by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. An ATU represents 200 pounds of volatile organic material emissions and is a limited authorization to emit 200 pounds of volatile organic material emissions during the seasonal allotment period under the ERMS program.

Animal Waste Methane Recovery: Methane produced from the waste decomposition is released into the atmosphere during lagoon storage, and after the fertiliser is spread on the field. Recovery technologies include installing an anaerobic digester (microbial breakdown in a controlled covered environment capturing the Methane) and utilising the Methane to produce energy - technology that involves the injection of the waste under the soil.

GHG Reduction & Project Quantification: Global Warming Potential (GWP) of Methane (CH4) = 21, GWP of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) = 1. Combustion of 1 tonne of CH4 produces 2.75 tonnes of CO2; therefore the capture and combustion 1 tonne of fugitive CH4 emissions yields a GWP benefit of at least 18.25 tonnes CO2 equivalent. If the captured CH4 is used as an energy source (on-site or delivered into a pipeline) the full 21 tonnes of emission reductions can be claimed.

Additionality: There are currently no mandates requiring farmers to capture CH4 emissions from lagoons and as such, very few lagoons have recovery systems (significantly less than 1%). Costs of CH4 recovery are generally more than savings/revenues from electricity generation/sales. Revenues from the sale of reductions may create a favourable economic atmosphere, making this project occur. 

Verification: Meter records, pipeline records, electricity production records, and/or gas sales receipts can be used for verification and auditing purposes.

Ancillary Benefits: a) Odour is greatly reduced by CH4 recovery systems b) lined lagoons (most existing lagoons are unlined), reduce leakage into water tables and nutrient run off from surface spreading on fields, a major source of rural water pollution, and c) promotion of animal waste CH4 as sustainable/renewable energy source.

Annex B Countries: 39 emissions-capped industrialised countries and economies in transition listed in Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol. Legally-binding emission reduction obligations for Annex B countries range from an 8% decrease (e.g., various European nations) to a 10% increase (Iceland) in relation to 1990 levels during the first commitment period from 2008 to 2012.

Annex I Countries: 36 industrialized countries listed in annex 1 to the Convention which were committed return their greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. They have also accepted emissions targets for the period 2008-12. They include the 24 original OECD members, the European Union, and 14 countries with economies in transition.

Annex II Countries: The countries listed in Annex II to the Convention which have a special obligation to provide financial resources and facilitate technology transfer to developing countries. Annex II Parties include the 24 original OECD members plus the European Union.

Anthropogenic Greenhouse Emissions:
Greenhouse-gas emissions resulting from human activities.

Assigned Amount (AA): The total amount of greenhouse gas that each country is allowed to emit during the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

Assigned Amount Unit (AAU): A Kyoto Protocol unit equal to 1 metric tonne of CO2 equivalent. Each Annex I Party issues AAUs up to the level of its Assigned Amount under the Kyoto Protocol. AAUs may be exchanged through emissions trading.

Auctioning: A method for issuing emission permits to emitters and firms in a domestic emissions trading regime based on a willingness to pay for the permits. This method of allocation may be combined with Grandfathering.

Avoided Emissions: Emissions that would have been emitted under a business as usual scenario but were avoided due to the implementation of an emission reduction project.