Warwickshire's climate change glossary

Here’s our handy guide to some of the words and phrases you might hear being used in climate change discussions.

Glossary of climate change terms
Term Description
15 minute city Where everyone living in a town or city has access to essential urban services within a 15 minute walk or cycle ride.
Active travel Making journeys by physically active means such as walking or cycling.

Find out more about active travel (opens new window)

Adaptation Action that helps cope with the effects of climate change and seeks to lower the risks posed by the consequences of climatic changes. Examples include the construction of barriers to protect against rising sea or river levels or switching to growing crops that can survive high temperatures and drought.
Carbon footprint The amount of carbon emitted by an individual or organisation in each period, or the amount of carbon emitted during the manufacture of a product. You can find an estimation of the carbon footprint in each Lower Super Output Area (LSOA) in Warwickshire.

Place based carbon calculator (opens new window)

Carbon offsetting A way of compensating for emissions of CO2 by participating in, or funding, efforts to take CO2 out of the atmosphere. Offsetting often involves paying someone else to save emissions equivalent to those produced by your activity.

One example in Warwickshire is the WCC biodiversity offsetting scheme

Climate change A pattern of change affecting global or regional climate, as measured by yardsticks such as average temperature and rainfall, or an alteration in frequency of extreme weather conditions. This variation may be caused by both natural processes and human activity. Global warming is one aspect of climate change.
Climate emergency

An action taken by governments and scientists to acknowledge humanity is in a climate emergency. The first such declaration was made by a local council in Australia. 

WCC declared a climate emergency in 2019 and Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council, North Warwickshire Borough Council, Rugby Borough Council, Stratford upon Avon District Council and Warwick District Council have all also declared climate emergencies.

COP 26

Conference of the Parties. 2021 was the 26th hosting of the event. The event is attended by countries who signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that came into force in 1994. Watch WCC Leader Izzi Seccombe reflecting on her COP26 visit

Greenhouse gases

Natural and industrial gases that trap heat from the earth and warm the surface. The focus is usually on emissions of six greenhouse gases in particular: natural (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane) and industrial (perfluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride).

Low Travel Neighbourhood (LTN) A scheme where motor vehicle traffic in residential streets is greatly reduced and where the movement of people is prioritised over cars. They are sometimes referred to Active or Liveable Neighbourhoods.
Mitigation Action that addresses the root causes of man-made climate change. This includes action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or absorb greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Details of WCC's actions to reduce emissions

Multi modal journeys

Making journeys in a combination of two or more forms of transport within a single trip from start to finish. This may include a mix of different vehicles, such as train, bicycle, bus, tram, car and scooter. WCC bus service improvement plan (PDF, 5.4MB)

Net zero

This is the balance between the amount of carbon emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. We reach net zero when the amount we add is no more than the amount taken away. At the Cabinet meeting on Thursday 17 June, WCC agreed to sign-up to the UK100 Net Zero Pledge on carbon emission reduction

Park & Stride Parking five to ten minutes from a school, workplace or shopping centre and walking the rest of the way.
Renewable energy

Renewable energy is energy created from sources that can be replenished in a short period of time. The five renewable sources used most often are: biomass (such as wood and biogas), the movement of water, geothermal (heat from within the earth), wind, and solar. The Warwickshire Solar Together project is a collective buying scheme where residents can join together to buy solar panels. Find out more about Warwickshire Solar Together

Zero carbon

No carbon commissions are been produced by a product or service. Energy sources like wind, nuclear and solar do not create carbon emissions and are referred to as zero carbon. 
WCC has committed to the worldwide race to net zero emissions (opens new window)

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