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Assigned Amount Unit, emission allowance assigned to industrialised countries prior to the start of the commitment period based on their emission caps and emission reduction targets.


Additionality, the criterion of additionality of emission reductions is a prerequisite for the approval of certified mitigation activities.


Allowances are freely tradable units that are allocated to the regulated participants in an emissions trading system. Each participant in the emissions trading system must surrender an allowance for each tonne of CO2e emitted.

Annex B State

Countries listed in Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol who have adopted a greenhouse gas emissions target. The list of Annex B states is largely identical with the list of Annex I states.

Annex I State

Countries listed in Annex I of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. For the most part, these are the industrialised nations of the OECD and Eastern Europe. Non-Annex I states are thus the developing countries.

Article 6

The cooperation mechanisms enshrined in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement offer Parties the opportunity to cooperate with one another when implementing their nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

Article 6.2

Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement allows reduction measures to be implemented in one country and the resulting reduction quantities to be transferred to another country. The reduction can be credited against the national climate change mitigation target.

Article 6.4

The “mechanism to contribute to the mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and support sustainable development mechanism” enshrined in Article 6.4 of the Paris Agreement allows Parties to cooperate in the achievement of their climate change mitigation targets.

Article 6.8

Article 6.8 of the Paris Agreement allows Parties to cooperate using non-market-based approaches.


Estimated emissions in the reference scenario.


Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety


Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action 


Clean Development Mechanism.

CDM Executive Board

The CDM Executive Board supervises the implementation of CDM activities.


Certified Emission Reduction, the type of emission reduction certificate generated by CDM projects.




Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement. The annual conference of the parties to the Paris Agreement.


Conference of the Parties serving as a Meeting of the Parties to the Protocol, the annual conference of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol.


Carbon dioxide equivalent


Carbon dioxide.

Compliance Market

The compliance market is used by countries and companies to meet legally binding climate change mitigation obligations.


Conference of the Parties, the annual conference of the parties to the UNFCCC.


The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation is a global market-based mechanism to offset a part of the emissions from aviation through certified climate protection projects on the ground.


Component project activity under a Programme of Activities.

Crediting Mechanism

A crediting mechanism allows the remuneration of emission reductions by issuing  tradable offset credits for emission reductions actually achieved.


Designated National Authority, the competent national authority in the approval of CDM projects.


Designated Operational Entity, an independent auditor accredited by the CDM Executive Board to assess eligibility and compliance of CDM projects with the prescribed criteria.


The CDM Executive Board supervises the implementation of CDM activities.

Emissions trading scheme

An emissions trading scheme (ETS) is a market-based system to reduce greenhouse gas emission  (i.e. carbon dioxide – CO2). It is based on the principle of „cap and trade“: With the cap, the GHG becomes a scarce asset, which is thus valued at a price determined by the market on the basis of supply and demand.

Environmental Integrity

In the context of crediting ensuring environmental integrity means that the use of these crediting mechanisms does not lead to an increase in total global emissions.


An emissions trading scheme is a market-based system to reduce greenhouse gas emission  (i.e. carbon dioxide – CO2). It is based on the principle of „cap and trade“: With the cap, the GHG becomes a scarce asset, which is thus valued at a price determined by the market on the basis of supply and demand.


The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is a key tool of the EU’s climate policy: It covers around 45% of EU’s GHG emissions and limits emissions from more than 11,000 installations. As a Emissions Trading Scheme, the EU ETS is based on the 'cap and trade' principle. A cap is set on the total amount of specific greenhouse gases that can be emitted by the installations of the system. Within the cap, companies receive emission allowances, which they can trade with one another if needed.


Green Climate Fund, a fund that has been established at COP 16 in Cancun in 2010 as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention under Article 11. The GCF is to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing countries.


Greehouse gases, those atmospheric gases responsible for causing global warming and climate change. The major GHGs are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Other less prevalent but very powerful greenhouse gases are hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).


International Civil Aviation Organization.


Internationally Transferred Mitigation Outcome, unit that Parties cooperating under Article 6.2 of the Paris Agreement can transfer and use for attaining their NDC.


International Maritime Organisation


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading international scientific body for the assessment of climate change and works under the auspicies of the UN.


Joint Implementation.


Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee, a committee providing international oversight of those Joint Implementation activities that are implemented following the JI Track 2 process. Track 2 is used if one or both of the countries involved in the activity does not meet the requirements for the standard (Track 1) Joint Implementation procedure.

Kyoto mechanisms

The Kyoto mechanisms are three procedures established under the Kyoto Protocol to increase the flexibility and reduce the costs of making greenhouse gas emissions cuts. They are the Clean Development Mechanism, Emission Trading and Joint Implementation.

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol to the UNFCCC inter alia sets binding greenhouse-gas emissions targets for industrialized countries. As an international agreement standing on its own it is subject to ratification by the Parties to the UNFCCC. Currently, there are 1992 Parties to the Kyoto Protocol.


Least Developed Countries, the world's poorest countries. They are characterised by low income, human resource weakness and economic vulnerability. Currently, 48 countries have been designated by the UN General Assembly as LDCs.


Land use, land-use change, and forestry, a greenhouse gas inventory sector that covers GHG emissions and removals resulting from direct human-induced land use, land-use change and forestry activities.


Measurement, reporting and verification, a concept related to the collection, processing and independent evaluation of information.


Non-governmental organizations include environmental groups, research institutions, business groups, and associations of urban and local governments. Many NGOs attend climate negotiations as observers.

Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement is an international climate treaty adopted in 2015 that commits all Parties to combating climate change. From 2020, all Parties are obliged to formulate climate change mitigation targets in their NDCs and to implement measures that contribute to achieving these targets.


A state that agrees to be bound by an international treaty and for which the treaty has entered into force. A regional economic integration organization such as the European Union is also considered a Party.


Programme of Activities, a specific project modality under the flexible mechanisms Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation that allows for the implementation of an unlimited number of component project activites (CPAs) under one umbrella Programme of Activities.


Subsidiary Body for Implementation, one of the two permanent subsidiary bodies to the COP. It supports the work of the COP and the CMP by assessing and reviewing the implementation of the Convention and its Kyoto Protocol.


Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice, a subsidiary body of the Climate Change Convention which reports to the Conference of the Parties (COP).

Subsidiary Body

The Subsidiary Body for Implementation (SBI) and the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice (SBSTA) are two permanent bodes created by the Convention. See SBI and SBSTA.


The principle by which states may only cooperate with one another if their activities supplement national measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sustainable development

Sustainable development refers to a development that allows for meeting the social, environmental and economic needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

Technology transfer

Technology transfer refers to the flow of know-how, experience and equipment. In the context of climate change, transfer of technologies for mitigating and adapting to climate change from developed to developing countries is particularly relevant.


Germany’s Federal Emissions Trading Act (TEHG), which transposes the EU Emissions Trading Directive into national law.

Track 1

The simplified procedure for JI projects.

Track 2

International procedure for JI projects monitored by the JI Supervisory Committee.


United Nations.


United Nations Development Programme.


United Nations Environment Programme.


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Voluntary Carbon Market

The voluntary carbon market is a market for the voluntary compensation of greenhouse gas emissions. It enables companies and individuals to voluntarily offset their carbon footprint.

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