A fuel produced from dry organic matter or combustible oils produced by plants. Examples of biofuel include alcohol (from fermented sugar), black liquor from the paper manufacturing process, wood, and soybean oil.

Carbon Calculator

A Carbon Calculator is a tool to estimate a person's carbon emissions, based on how much energy and what kind of energy he uses in his daily activities. The result of the calculation is an estimated emission figure in terms of tons of CO2-that is a person's Carbon Footprint.

Carbon dioxide (CO2):

CO2 is a colorless, odorless, non-poisonous naturally occurring gas, and also a by-product of burning fossil fuels and biomass, as well as land-use changes and other industrial processes. It is the principal human-induced greenhouse gas that affects the Earth's radiative balance. It is the reference gas against which other greenhouse gases are measured.

Carbon Footprint:

An individual's carbon footprint is the direct effect one's actions and lifestyle have on the environment in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. This is usually estimated by using a Carbon Calculator. In Hong Kong, almost all of our electricity is generated from burning coal. Cars, buses and planes use fossil fuels. From our home electricity use, travel, our diet to the clothes we wear, all our actions involves emission of carbon dioxide and have direct or indirect impact in accelerating climate change.

Carbon neutral:

Carbon neutrality or going carbon neutral refers to the maintenance of a balance between the release and reduction of carbon dioxide, the major anthropogenic greenhouse gas. Going carbon neutral typically involves calculating one's total climate-damaging carbon emissions, reducing them where possible, and then balancing your remaining emissions, often by purchasing a carbon offset.

Carbon Offset

A "carbon offset" is an emission reduction credit from another organization's project that results in less carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere than would otherwise occur. Carbon offsets are typically measured in tons of CO2-equivalents (or 'CO2e') and are bought and sold through a number of international brokers, online retailers, and trading platforms. By carbon-offsetting, individuals and organizations can become carbon neutral. The Gold Standard is the premium international standard of carbon offsets which ensures that key environmental criteria have been met by offset projects that carry its label.


Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the "average weather" or more rigorously as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). These relevant quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation, and wind.

Climate Change

Refers to changes in long-term trends in the average climate, such as changes in average temperatures. In IPCC usage, climate change refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in its Article 1, defines "climate change" as: "a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods."

Climate Savers

Climate Savers is an international programme promoting corporate voluntary action on climate change, between WWF and 12 major private sector partners around the world. Initiated in 1999, Climate Savers companies, by 2010 will have taken action equivalent to removing 2 million cars from the road. The programme follows a series of simple steps to cut the greenhouse gas emissions directly emitted from the company's operations, working closely with an experienced third party technical services provider.


Climateers are pioneers and volunteers who take action on climate change. Climateers take the initiative to calculate their Carbon Footprint and to change aspects in their lifestyle so as to minimise their personal impact on climate. They are prepared to talk about their footprint, spread the message and support sensible carbon-reducing solutions. Anyone can become a Climateer-a representative of climate-friendly living.

Dengue Fever

An infectious viral disease spread by mosquitoes often called breakbone fever because it is characterized by severe pain in joints and back. Subsequent infections of the virus may lead to dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS), which may be fatal.

Energy efficiency

Ratio of energy output of a conversion process or of a system to its energy input.

Fossil fuels

Carbon-based fuels from fossil carbon deposits, including coal, oil, and natural gas.

Gold Standard

The Gold Standard Foundation offers a quality label to CDM/JI emission trading and voluntary offset projects, ensuring that key environmental criteria have been met. Only renewable energy and energy efficiency projects with sustainable development benefits are eligible. WWF initiated and helped to develop the Gold Standard.

Greenhouse effect

The greenhouse effect is a natural warming process of the earth. When the sun's energy reaches the earth some of it is reflected back to space and the rest is absorbed. The absorbed energy warms the earth's surface which then emits heat energy back toward space. This outgoing longwave radiation is partially trapped by greenhouse gases which then radiate the energy in all directions, warming the earth's surface and atmosphere.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG)

Any gas that contributes to the "greenhouse effect." The ones we are most concerned about, and have the most potential in reducing are the main anthropogenic ones like Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4) and Nitrous Oxide (N2O).

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

The IPCC was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the UN Environment Programme. The IPCC is responsible for providing the scientific and technical foundation for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).

Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted at the Third Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. It contains legally binding commitments, in addition to those included in the UNFCCC. Countries included in Annex B of the Protocol (most countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and countries with economies in transition) agreed to reduce their anthropogenic greenhouse gases emissions by at least 5% below 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008 to 2012.


Endemic or epidemic parasitic disease transmitted by mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles; produces high fever attacks and systemic disorders, and kills approximately 2 million people every year.

Methane (CH4)

CH4 is among the six greenhouse gases to be curbed under the Kyoto Protocol. CH4 is produced through decomposition of waste in landfills, animal digestion, decomposition of animal wastes, production and distribution of natural gas and oil, coal production, and incomplete fossil-fuel combustion.

Nitrous Oxide (N2O)

A powerful greenhouse gas emitted through soil cultivation practices, especially the use of commercial and organic fertilizers, fossil-fuel combustion, nitric acid production, and biomass burning. One of the six greenhouse gases to be curbed under the Kyoto Protocol.


Perennially frozen ground that occurs wherever the temperature remains below 0°C for several years.

Renewables / Renewable Energy

Energy sources that are, within a short time frame relative to the Earth's natural cycles, sustainable, and include non-carbon technologies such as solar energy, hydropower, and wind, as well as carbon-neutral technologies.

Sea-level rise

An increase in the mean level of the ocean. Eustatic sea-level rise is a change in global average sea level brought about by an alteration to the volume of the world ocean. Relative sealevel rise occurs where there is a net increase in the level of the ocean relative to local land movements.

Many cities in the Mainland have installed solar water heating panels on buildings. Shenzhen made it mandatory for all new residential buildings under 12 storeys to install solar water heating for residents.