Acid deposition

A phenomenon whereby acidic atmospheric pollutants are deposited on earth.

Acid rain

See acid deposition

Acidification of the Oceans

Chemical reactions that occur when CO2 reacts with seawater in ways that reduce seawater pH, carbonate ion concentration and saturation states of biologically important calcium carbonate minerals.


A suspension of nanoscopic airborne solid or liquid particles that reside in the atmosphere for at least several hours.

Anthropogenic emissions

Emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), precursors of GHGs and aerosols caused by human activities.

Anthropogenic removals

The withdrawal of GHGs from the atmosphere as a result of deliberate human activities.

Barcelona Convention for Protection against Pollution in the Mediterranean Sea, 1976

A regional framework applicable to countries adjoining or operating in the Mediterranean Sea, to prevent pollution of and protect the natural environments in that sea.

Beyond Petrochemicals: People over Pollution

A Bloomberg Philanthropies campaign to halt the rapid expansion of petrochemical and plastic pollution in the United States.

Bioaccumulate / Bioaccumulation

The gradual increase of toxic materials in an organism.


A process that uses microorganisms, plants, or microbial or plant enzymes to detoxify contaminants in the soil and other environments.

Black carbon (BC)

Operationally defined aerosol type based on measurement of light absorption and chemical reactivity and/or thermal stability; soot.

Bonn Agreement, 1969

An agreement among the coastal nations of the North Sea in 1969 to cooperate in the avoidance and combating of environmental pollution in the North Sea.

Cap and Trade

A government regulatory system designed to give companies an incentive to reduce their carbon emissions.


Any substance, radionuclide or radiation that promotes carcinogenesis, the formation of cancer due to the ability to damage the genome or disrupt the cellular metabolic processes.


See Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)

Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)

Any of several organic compounds made up of carbon, hydrogen, fluorine, and chlorine – ozone-depleting gases that are covered under the 1987 Montreal Protocol.

Circular design

Finding ways to reduce and eliminate waste and pollution and keeping products and materials in use rather than throwing them away.

Clean technology / Cleantech / Greentech

A range of products, services and processes that reduce the use of natural resources and/or cut or eliminate emissions and waste.

Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES)

A non-profit organisation comprising investors and environmental, religious and public interest groups focused on sustainability.

Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)

U.S. legislation enabling government to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment.

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