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Economic potential is the portion of technological potential for
greenhouse gas emissions reductions or energy efficiency
improvements that could be achieved cost-effectively through the creation of
markets, reduction of market failures, increased financial and technological
transfers. The achievement of economic potential requires additional policies
and measures to break down market barriers. See also market
potential, socio-economic potential, and technological potential.
Economies in transition (EITs)
Countries with national economies in the process of changing from a planned
economic system to a market economy.
A system of interacting living organisms and their physical environment. The
boundaries of what can be called an ecosystem are somewhat arbitrary, depending
on the focus of interest or study. Thus, the extent of an ecosystem may range
from very small spatial scales to, ultimately, the entire earth.
See emissions tax
See economies in transition.
In the climate change context, emissions refer to the release
of greenhouse gases and/or their precursors and aerosols into
the atmosphere over a specified area and period of time.
A mandated restraint, in a scheduled timeframe, that puts a ceiling
on the total amount of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions
that can be released into the atmosphere. The Kyoto Protocol mandates
caps on the greenhouse gas emissions released by Annex B countries/Parties.
An emissions factor is the coefficient that relates actual emissions
to activity data as a standard rate of emission per unit of activity.
An emissions permit is the non-transferable or tradable allocation of entitlements
by a government to an individual firm to emit a specified amount of a substance.
The portion or share of total allowable emissions assigned to a country
or group of countries within a framework of maximum total emissions and mandatory
allocations of resources.
Emissions reduction unit (ERU)
Equal to 1 tonne (metric ton) of carbon dioxide emissions reduced
or sequestered arising from a Joint Implementation (defined in
Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol) project, calculated using Global
Warming Potential. See also certified emission reduction
and emissions trading.
A level of emission that under law or voluntary agreement may not be exceeded.
Levy imposed by a government on each unit of CO2-equivalent
emissions by a source subject to the tax. Since virtually
all of the carbon in fossil fuels is ultimately emitted as carbon
dioxide, a levy on the carbon content of fossil fuels a carbon tax
is equivalent to an emissions tax for emissions caused by to fossil fuel
combustion. An energy tax a levy on the energy content of fuels
reduces demand for energy and so reduces carbon dioxide emissions from
fossil fuel use. An ecotax is designated for the purpose of influencing
human behaviour (specifically economic behaviour) to follow an ecologically
benign path. International emissions/carbon/energy tax is a tax imposed on specified
sources in participating countries by an international agency. The revenue is
distributed or used as specified by participating countries or the international
A market-based approach to achieving environmental objectives that allows those
reducing greenhouse gas emissions below what is required to use
or trade the excess reductions to offset emissions at another source inside
or outside the country. In general, trading can occur at the intracompany, domestic,
and international levels. The Second Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change adopted the convention of using permits
for domestic trading systems and quotas for international trading
systems. Emissions trading under Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol
is a tradable quota system based on the assigned amounts
calculated from the emission reduction and limitation commitments listed in
Annex B of the Protocol. See also certified emission reduction
and Clean Development Mechanism.
See energy transformation.
Ratio of energy output of a conversion process or of a system to its energy
Energy intensity is the ratio of energy consumption to economic or physical
output. At the national level, energy intensity is the ratio of total domestic
primary energy consumption or final energy consumption
to Gross Domestic Product or physical output.
The application of useful energy to tasks desired by the consumer such as transportation,
a warm room, or light.
See emissions tax.
The change from one form of energy, such as the energy embodied in fossil
fuels, to another, such as electricity.
See emissions reduction unit.
See external cost.
Used to define the costs arising from any human activity, when the agent responsible
for the activity does not take full account of the impacts on others of his
or her actions. Equally, when the impacts are positive and not accounted for
in the actions of the agent responsible they are referred to as external
benefits. Emissions of particulate pollution from a power
station affect the health of people in the vicinity, but this is not often considered,
or is given inadequate weight, in private decision making and there is no market
for such impacts. Such a phenomenon is referred to as an externality,
and the costs it imposes are referred to as the external costs.
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