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Glossary of Climate Terms

Long-term shifts in average weather patterns and temperature. Changes observed in the earth’s climate since the mid-20th century have been driven by human activities that increase greenhouse gas levels in the earth’s atmosphere and have a warming effect.

The total amount of greenhouse gas emissions that a person or entity generates through their activities.

Achieving a balance between the greenhouse gas emissions produced by human activity, and those removed from the atmosphere. This will require cutting GHG emissions to as close to zero as possible, with any remaining emissions re-absorbed from the atmosphere, for example through technology or nature-based solutions.

The Paris Agreement is a legally binding international treaty on climate change. The goal of the Agreement is to limit global warming to well below 2℃, and preferably to 1.5℃, compared to pre-industrial levels. It was adopted by 196 Parties at COP 21 in Paris, on December 12, 2015 and became effective on November 4, 2016.

Direct greenhouse gas emissions that occur from sources that are owned or controlled by a company.

Indirect greenhouse gas emissions associated with a company's purchased electricity, steam, heating and/or cooling.

All other indirect greenhouse gas emissions (not included in Scope 2) that occur in a company’s value chain. Scope 3 emissions can be further broken down into 15 categories of upstream and downstream emissions.