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Defines basic entries for those trying to understand climate change issues

Filter Glossary


Adaptation is a response strategy of any social, economic or technological system to climate change, in an effort to prevent future harm and to explore possible opportunities. Unlike what happens in the case of mitigation, the benefits resulting from adaptative adjustments are local and short-term. Adaptation aims to reduce damage and is closely linked to the concept of vulnerability, which is the degree of susceptibility and inability of a system to deal with the adverse effects of climate change caused or accelerated by human activities and capitalism, including extreme events, such as temperature heat waves, fires, typhons, cyclones and deforestation.


Additional Financial Resources

Financing mechanism for international cooperation, mainly triggered by developing countries in attracting and mobilizing resources for the continued operation of projects and actions, such as the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Agenda 21

Agenda 21 is a global action program based on a 40-chapter document negotiated and signed by 179 countries participating in the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), known as Rio-92. Agenda 21 is the most comprehensive attempt already made to promote, on a planetary scale, a new pattern of development, called “sustainable development”. The term was used in the sense of declaring intentions, expressing desires for changes towards this new development model for the 21st century. Agenda 21 is a broad planning tool for building sustainable societies in different geographies, seeking to reconcile conceptions, practices and policies towards the protection of the environment, the promotion of social justice and economic inclusion, as well as technological and economic efficiency.


Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS)

Known as AOSIS, the Alliance of small island states is a coalition of 44 small islands and coastal developing states, including five observers. As a voice for the most vulnerable countries in climate negotiations, the coalition puts together states generally moved by a deep sense of climate emergency. Its mandate seeks to do more than simply expanding voices that tend to be less heard from the South, as it also defends the interests of these countries through lobbying and articulation with other developing countries, global powers, and multilateral organizations. In strategic terms, AOSIS pushes for negotiating global commitments that aim to reduce GHG emissions and tends to be a relevant player in multilateral negotiations, despite the economic weight and the geopolitical lack of centrality of the countries it represents. To achieve its objectives, the Alliance often relies on partnerships, including the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the European Commission, so as to strengthen its capacity to effectively influence climate negotiations.


Amazon Fund

The Amazon Fund was established in Brazil through Decree No. 6,527, of August 2008, with the purpose of attracting donations for non-reimbursable investments in actions aimed at combating deforestation and the sustainable use of the Amazon rainforest. The Fund supports projects in several areas: management of public forests and protected areas; environmental control, monitoring and inspection; sustainable forest management; economic activities based on the sustainable use of the forest; ecological and economic zoning, land use and land regularization; conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity; recovery of deforested areas. The Fund is managed by the National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BDNES), which is also responsible for the fundraising, contracting, monitoring and evaluation processes of the supported projects.


Andean Development Corporation (CAF)

The Andean Development Corporation, headquartered in Caracas, is a development bank created in 1970 by Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, aiming to promote economic conditions for Latin American development. Integrated by 19 countries, 17 from Latin America and the Caribbean, in addition to Spain and Portugal, CAF also counts on the participation of 14 private banks in the region. CAF’s main goal is to contribute to the process of sustainable development and regional integration of Latin American countries, through the provision of financial services and support to clients in the public and private sectors of these countries.


Annex I countries

Group of countries integrated by developed countries, signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and former members of the Soviet bloc, the so-called economies in transition. Such countries have greater responsibility than the others, with targets for limiting or reducing GHG emissions. However, OECD member countries have a duty to reduce their emissions, allowing them to purchase credits through flexibilization mechanisms, while economies in transition are provided with participation in joint implementation projects.


Annex II countries

The group of Annex II countries corresponds to developed countries, members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), minus the former members of the Soviet bloc, considered economies in transition. They are responsible for providing additional financial resources that enable developing countries to carry out activities aimed at reducing emissions. Such Annex II countries must also seek to promote both development and technology transfer (less aggressive to the environment) to countries in transition and developing.


Asian Pacific Partnership (APP)

The Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate was an initiative created in 2005 by Australia, Canada, China, South Korea, India, Japan and the USA. The partnership addressed issues of social needs and energy security, air pollution and climate change. Its main objective was to accelerate the use of more energy-efficient technologies in order to mitigate climate change without compromising the countries’ economic development. Since its inception, AAP has approved eight public-private sector task forces covering aluminum, buildings and appliances, cement, cleaner fossil energy, coal mining, energy generation and transmission, renewable energy and distributed generation and steel. Each task force identified clean development issues and developed action plans for immediate and medium-term activities.


Assigned Equivalent Units

It is a type of carbon credit that corresponds to emission quotas (or allowances) that can be traded on the Kyoto Protocol’s carbon quota market. Countries (or firms) that manage to issue less than their issue shares may sell unused shares (Assigned Equivalent Units) to those that are unable (or unwilling) to limit their emissions to the number of their shares. Units can be traded under specific rules of the global carbon emissions buying and selling system.