Chapter 7 – Glossary

Toolkit chapters

Adaptation – Refers to adjustments in ecological, social or economic systems in response to the impacts of climate change.

Circular economy – A model of production and consumption which eliminates waste through sharing, reuse, repair, recycling and intentional design; in contrast to a linear economy which is based on a ‘take-make-consume-dispose’ model.

Climate justice – A concept that addresses the climate emergency as a social, economic, political and ethical problem whose impacts are experienced unequally. Achieving climate justice involves finding solutions to climate change which create a fairer, more equal world. It is related to the concept of a Just Transition.

Community wealth building – An approach to local economic development which is people-centred and redirects wealth back into the local economy whilst placing control and benefits into the hands of local people.

Decarbonisation – Measures taken by an organisation, industry, business, government etc to reduce and eliminate carbon dioxide emissions.

Decentralised energy – Energy that is generated off the main grid close to where it will be used, rather than at an industrial plant and sent through the national grid. This can include energy from solar, wind, geothermal or biomass sources, as well as district heating and cooling.

Fuel poverty – A condition describing households that must spend a high proportion of their income to keep their home adequately heated or are unable to heat their home to an adequate temperature.

High carbon/carbon intensive industries – Industries that produce a high level of carbon emissions.

Greenhouse gas emissions – Gases in the Earth’s atmosphere that absorb and trap heat, radiating it back to the Earth’s surface in a process known as the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, ozone and water vapour.

Green recovery – Measures and policies which aim to stimulate economic recovery following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic whilst also prioritising sustainability and facilitating the shift to a low-carbon economy.

Low Carbon Renewable Energy (LCRE) economy – The sum of economic activities that deliver goods and services that generate significantly lower emissions of greenhouse gases.

Mitigation – Efforts to reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions.

Net zero – Refers to a state in which the greenhouse gases released into the Earth’s atmosphere are balanced out by the greenhouse gases removed from the atmosphere.

Passivhaus standard – An international standard for energy efficiency in building construction which significantly reduces a building’s ecological footprint. This is achieved through good insulation, airtightness, passive solar gains and internal heat sources. Buildings built to the Passivhaus standard require little energy for heating or cooling.

Resilience – The ability to anticipate, prepare for, respond to and withstand hazardous events, trends or disturbances resulting from climate change.

Zero emissions – A process, product, or service which emits zero greenhouse gas emissions.

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