The content of this lexicon was distilled from literally hundreds of different sources, and continues to grow weekly. In the early stages, content from the sources listed below was especially helpful. Individual entries in this glossary have not all been referenced back to specific sources, because in most cases the entry is a composite of multiple sources. Most glossaries are furthermore, like this one, collections of content distilled from yet other sources, rather than being original intellectual property.

We are most grateful to all of those whose work paved the way for this lexicon.

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality Glossary of Environmental Terms

Aviva Investors ESG definitions glossary

Conservice ESG (formerly Goby)’s ESG Glossary

European Environmental Agency Glossary

European Environmental Agency EEA Glossary

Eurostep Digital Corporate Governance Glossary

GDRC Glossary of Environmental Terms

Green Eco-Friend’s Eco-Friendly Terminology

IPCC Glossary — Global Warming of 1.5 ºC – IPCC

Latham & Watkins’ BOOK of JARGON® – Environmental, Social & Governance

National Governance Association Glossary

Novisto’s ESG and Sustainability Glossary

ONGIG’s Diversity & Inclusion Glossary

Simmons & Simmons Glossary of Key Sustainable Finance and ESG Concepts

UNFCC Glossary of climate change acronyms and terms

Stanford Graduate School of Business Glossary of Terms

US Environmental Protection Agency Report on the Environment (ROE) Glossary

Once these sources had been exhausted and new ones were failing to yield new terms, we reverted to original sources such as articles and reports, and old-fashioned Googling. The vast range of United Nations websites were immensely helpful, as were the websites of the many other agencies, initiatives and other entities that I have included in the lexicon. The most important papers and other specific sources from which content was derived are listed below.


Berkes, F. and C. Folke, 1998: Linking Social and Ecological Systems: Management Practices and Social Mechanisms for Building Resilience. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA, 459 pp.

Carson, M. and G. Peterson (eds.), 2016: Arctic Resilience Report 2016. Stockholm Environment Institute and Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm, Sweden, 218 pp.

Culwick, C. and K. Bobbins, 2016: A Framework for a Green Infrastructure Planning Approach in the Gauteng City-Region. GCRO Research Report No. 04, Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GRCO), Johannesburg, South Africa, 127 pp.

European Commission, ‘Green Paper: The EU Governance Framework’, COM (2011) 164 final, accessed 18 July 2018 at accessed 22 February 2022.

Financial Reporting Council, ‘UK Corporate Governance Code’ (2018), accessed on 14 February 2022 at

Fung, A. and E.O. Wright (eds.), 2003: Deepening Democracy: Institutional Innovations in Empowered Participatory Governance. Verso, London, UK, 312 pp.

Hardin, G., 1968. The tragedy of the commons. Science 162. 1243-1248.

IPCC, 2011: Workshop Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Workshop on Impacts of Ocean Acidification on Marine Biology and Ecosystems. [Field, C.B., V. Barros, T.F. Stocker, D. Qin, K.J. Mach, G.-K. Plattner, M.D. Mastrandrea, M. Tignor, and K.L. Ebi (eds.)]. IPCC Working Group II Technical Support Unit, Carnegie Institution, Stanford, California, United States of America,

IPCC, 2012: Meeting Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Expert Meeting on Geoengineering. IPCC Working Group III Technical Support Unit, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Potsdam, Germany, 99 pp.

IPCC, 2000: Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry: A Special Report of the IPCC. [Watson, R.T., I.R. Noble, B. Bolin, N.H. Ravindranath, D.J. Verardo, and D.J. Dokken (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 375 pp.

ISO, 2018: ISO 14044:2006. Environmental management – Life cycle assessment – Requirements and guidelines. International Standards Organisation (ISO). Retrieved from:

Jagers, S.C. and J. Stripple, 2003: Climate Governance Beyond the State. Global Governance, 9(3), 385–399,

Lim, E., 2020. Sustainability and Corporate Mechanisms in Asia. Cambridge University Press. p4.

Mastrandrea, M.D. et al., 2010: Guidance Note for Lead Authors of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report on Consistent Treatment of Uncertainties. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Geneva, Switzerland, 6 pp.

Mechler, R., L.M. Bouwer, T. Schinko, S. Surminski, and J. Linnerooth-Bayer (eds.), 2019: Loss and Damage from Climate Change: Concepts, Methods and Policy Options. Springer International Publishing, 561 pp.

Moss, R.H. and S.H. Schneider, 2000: Uncertainties in the IPCC TAR: Recommendations to Lead Authors for More Consistent Assessment and Reporting. In: Guidance Papers on the Cross Cutting Issues of the Third Assessment Report of the IPCC [Pachauri, R., T. Taniguchi, and K. Tanaka (eds.)]. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Geneva, Switzerland, pp. 33–51.

Moss, R.H. et al., 2008: Towards New Scenarios for Analysis of Emissions, Climate Change, Impacts, and Response Strategies. Technical Summary. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Geneva, Switzerland, 25 pp.

Moss, R.H. et al., 2010: The next generation of scenarios for climate change research and assessment. Nature, 463(7282), 747–756, doi:10.1038/nature08823.

Nilsson, M., D. Griggs, and M. Visbeck, 2016: Policy: Map the interactions between Sustainable Development Goals. Nature, 534(7607), 320–322, doi:10.1038/534320a.

O’Neill, B.C., 2000: The Jury is Still Out on Global Warming Potentials. Climatic Change, 44(4), 427–443, doi:10.1023/a:1005582929198.

O’Neill, B.C. et al., 2014: A new scenario framework for climate change research: the concept of shared socioeconomic pathways. Climatic Change, 122(3), 387–400, doi:10.1007/s10584-013-0905-2.

O’Neill, B.C. et al., 2017: The roads ahead: Narratives for shared socioeconomic pathways describing world futures in the 21st century. Global Environmental Change, 42, 169–180, doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2015.01.004..

Peters, B.G. and J. Pierre, 2001: Developments in intergovernmental relations: towards multi-level governance. Policy & Politics, 29(2), 131–135, doi:10.1332/0305573012501251.

Riahi, K. et al., 2017: The Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and their energy, land use, and greenhouse gas emissions implications: An overview. Global Environmental Change, 42, 153–168, doi:10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2016.05.009.

Sarmiento, H. and C. Tilly, 2018: Governance Lessons from Urban Informality. Politics and Governance, 6(1), 199–202, doi:10.17645/pag.v6i1.1169.

Schoenmaker, D. and Schramade, W., 2019. Principles of Sustainable Finance. Oxford University Press. p3.

UN DESA, 2016: Identifying social inclusion and exclusion. In: Leaving no one behind: the imperative of inclusive development. Report on the World Social Situation 2016. ST/ESA/362, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA), New York, NY, USA, pp. 17–31, doi:10.18356/5aa151e0-en.

UNESCO, 2018: Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Retrieved from:

UNOHCHR, 2018: What are Human rights? UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR). Retrieved from:

UN-OHRLLS, 2011: Small Island Developing States: Small Islands Big(ger) Stakes. Office for the High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS), New York, NY, USA, 32 pp

UN-REDD, 2009: Measurement, Assessment, Reporting and Verification (MARV): Issues and Options for REDD. Draft Discussion Paper, United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD), Geneva, Switzerland, 12 pp.

Virdin, J. Vegh, T., Jouffray, J.-B., Blasiak, R. Mason, S., Österblom, H., Vermeer, D., Wachtmeister, H., Werner, N., 2021. The Ocean 100: Transnational corporations in the ocean economy. Science Advances. Vol 7, Issue 3. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abc8041

Walters, M., 2018: Lawyers warned to uphold ‘duty of candour’ in court. Law Society Gazette of 3 August 2018 accessed on 18 February 2022 at

Willems, S. and K. Baumert, 2003: Institutional Capacity and Climate Actions. COM/ENV/EPOC/IEA/SLT(2003)5, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) International Energy Agency (IEA), Paris, France, 50 pp.