2°C – The amount of global warming above pre-industrial levels (200 years ago), which could lead to catastrophic outcomes for human populations (and countless other animal and plant species). The Earth has already warmed by 0.8°C above pre-industrial levels.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) – A heat-trapping molecule, and the principal greenhouse gas of concern to climate scientists. A growing concentration of CO2 from burning fossil fuels is warming the Earth.
Carbon tax – A tax applied to the combustion of fossil fuels. BC currently has a carbon tax that amounts to about 7 cents per litre at the gas pump.
Climate change – The altering of climate patterns (e.g. more precipitation, more intense storms, floods or droughts) on Earth caused by the burning of fossil fuels.
Climate justice – A term for viewing climate change as an ethical issue and considering how its causes and effects relate to concepts of justice, particularly social justice and environmental justice. This can mean examining issues such as equality, human rights, collective rights and historical responsibility in relation to climate change.
Fossil fuels – Fossil fuels are the underground remains of plants and animals that lived millions of years ago, which can be processed and combusted for energy use. Examples include oil, bitumen, coal and natural gas.
Global carbon budget – An estimated maximum amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases we can emit into the atmosphere before passing the 2°C critical threshold of warming.
Global warming – The heating up of the Earth caused primarily by the burning of fossil fuels (oil, coal and natural gas), which releases heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gas (GHG) – A gas that traps heat and contributes to global climate change.
Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) – Natural gas that has been converted into liquid for ease of storage and transportation.
Methane (CH4) – A potent greenhouse gas, and the principal ingredient in “natural gas.”
Renewable energy – Energy that comes from resources that are continually replenished, such as sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves and geothermal heat.