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Afforestation and Reforestation, a modality for forestry projects under the Clean Development Mechanism.


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 CDM/JI projects.


The Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action is a subsidiary body established at COP 17 in Durban in 2011. The ADP is to develop a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties that is to be adopted at COP21 and come into effect from 2020.


Planting of new forests on land that has previously not been forested.

Agenda 21

Aktionsprogramm der Konferenz für Umwelt und Entwicklung der Vereinten Nationen (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro (Juni 1992), das alle wesentlichen Politikbereiche einer umweltverträglichen, nachhaltigen Entwicklung anspricht.


Activities Implemented Jointly, the pilot phase of the CDM and JI mechanisms.

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.

Annex II State

Countries listed in Annex II to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. These have a special obligation to provide financial resources and facilitate technology transfer to developing countries. Annex II includes the 24 original OECD members plus the European Union.


Estimated emissions in the reference scenario.

Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety
Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz, Bau und Reaktorsicherheit (German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety).

Clean Development Mechanism.

CDM Loan Scheme

An interest-free loan initiative that provides funding for CDM project development and implementation. It applies to projects located in previously underrepresented CDM host countries.


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


Coordinating or Managing Entity, the entity responsible for the development and management of a Project of Activities.


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.

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


See CMP.


Component project activity under a Programme of Activities.


Conversion of forest to non-forest.


Designated Focal Point, the competent national authority in the approval of JI projects.


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.


CDM Executive Board (EB) bzw. CDM-Exekutivrat, überwacht die Durchführung der CDM-Projekte.

Emissions trading

One of the three Kyoto mechanisms, by which an Annex I Party may transfer Kyoto Protocol units (AAU) to, or acquire units from, another Annex I party. In order to participate in emissions trading an Annex I Party must meet specific eligibility requirements.


Emission Reduction Unit, the type of emission reduction certificate generated by JI projects.


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.


European Union.

EU Allowance

An emissions permit issued under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

EU Emissions Trading Directive

Directive establishing a scheme for greenhouse gas emissions allowance trading with the EU.


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.

EU Linking Directive

Directive regulating the integration of the CDM and JI project-based mechanisms into the EU Emissions Trading Scheme.


Framework for various approaches to enhance mitigation. A framework in which to harmonise various emissions trading and verification systems, and set minimum standards. The FVA is currently part of the UN climate change negotiations for an international climate change agreement for the period beyond 2020.


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.


Global Environment Facility, an independent financial organization that provides funding for environmental projects in developing countries. The GEF is the designated financial operator for various environmental agreements, including the UNFCCC.


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).



Hot air

Hot air refers to the concern that some countries will be able to meet their greenhouse-gas emissions targets under the Kyoto Protocol with minimal effort. This can lead to an oversupply of emission credits, possibly reducing the incentive for other countries to cut their own domestic emissions.


International Civil Aviation Organization.


Independent Entity, an accredited entity which assesses eligibility and compliance of JI projects with the prescribed criteria.


International Energy Agency.


(Intended) Nationally Determined Contributions, those climate actions countries are willing to undertake in the context of the new post-2020 climate agreement.


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 Coordination Unit (JIKO) at the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety. The ministry’s contact point for climate change projects conducted using the CDM and JI mechanisms.


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.


The increase in greenhouse gas emissions occurring outside project boundaries and which can be traced to the project activity. This leakage must be included in the calculation of the emission reductions achieved or of the amount of carbon stored.

Linking Directive

EU Linking Directive.

Loss and damage

Loss and damage refers to the adverse effects of climate change, including and in some cases going beyond what can be addressed by adaptation. In 2013, Parties agreed to install the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and damage under the Cancun Adaptation Framework.


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.

Marrakesh Accords

The Marrakesh Accords are agreements reached at COP-7 which set various rules for making some of the key provisions of the Kyoto Protocol operational. The accords inter alia contain provisions for establishing a greenhouse-as emissions trading system and implementing and monitoring the Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism.


Documentation of CDM/JI project implementation.


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


Nitrous oxide.


Nationally appropiate mitigation actions, a concept for describing mitigation actions in developing countries. The NAMA registry has been established as a online platform to provide information about NAMAs seeking international support and facilitate the matching of these activities with finance, technology and capacity-building support.

National communication

A report submitted in accordance with the Convention (and the Kyoto Protocol) by which Party provides information on its climate change activities.

National delegation

One or more officials empowered to represent a national government and to negotiate on its behalf.


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


New Market Mechanism. A further development of the Kyoto Protocol’s project-based mechanisms which is currently part of the UN climate change negotiations for a new international climate change agreement for the period beyond 2020.

Non-Annex I Party

Non-Annex I Parties are those countries not included in Annex I of the Convention. Non-Annex I Parties are mostly developing countries.


Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.


Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.


Policies and Measures, a frequently used phrase to refer to climate mitigation activities taken or to be taken by countries under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol.


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.


Project Design Document, the standardised project documentation which CDM/JI project developers must submit when requesting project approval.




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.

Project boundary

The project boundary is determined by the project developer and stated in the PDD. It must take in all emission sources that can be directly traced to the project activity.


Germany’s Project-Based Mechanisms Act transposing the EU Linking Directive into national law.


Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation.


Reforestation is the replanting of forests on lands that have previously contained forests but that have been converted to some other use.


Removal Unit, an emissions certificate issued under Article 3.3 and 3.4 for national sink activities in industrialised countries.


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).


The UNFCCC Secretariat supports the activities under the Convention and ensures its smooth operation. It organizes meetings, compiles and prepares reports, and makes arrangements with other relevant international bodies.


Sulphur hexafluoride.


Sink is a term to describe any process, activity or mechanism which removes a greenhouse gas, an aerosol or a precursor of a greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.


Small Scale Project Activities, under certain circumstances, CDM and JI projects can qualify as Small Scale Project Activities and benefit from simplified modalities and procedures.

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.


Uniform Reporting Format, a standardised reporting format used for AIJ projects.


World Commission on Dams, a multi-stakeholder dialogue commissioned by the World Bank to produce criteria for sustainable dam projects.