Law & Climate Atlas – further resources and glossary

This page contains some key resources that may be useful to readers of the Law & Climate Atlas, as well as a glossary of relevant terminology. Please do not hesitate to contact us at if you would like to suggest additions to either of these lists.

Further resources

General climate resources

  • The IPCC Website – contains the latest authoritative evidence on climate change and humanity’s efforts to reduce emissions.
  • Carbon Brief – aggregates key climate-related news and developments, and publishes explainers on key climate topics.
  • Climate Action Tracker – summarises national climate policies and progress towards reaching global climate targets.
  • Net Zero Tracker – tracks net zero commitments from both governments and businesses around the world.
  • World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal – provides data on global climate impacts and risks.

Law and climate resources


AdaptationEfforts taken to adjust in response to climate change impacts, in contrast to mitigation.
Attribution ScienceA way of linking climate change to weather impacts, which is now being used to show causation in climate litigation.
Biodiversity LossThe decline in the variety of different species of life, a problem with significant human impacts that is linked to, but distinct from, climate change.
Carbon Border Adjustment MechanismA tariff applied on imports based on the greenhouse gas emissions caused by their production.
Carbon PricingMeasures, such as carbon taxes and emissions trading systems, that put a price on greenhouse gas emissions in order to disincentivise them.
CCCThe Climate Change Committee, the UK’s independent advisory body on climate change established under the Climate Change Act.
Climate Change Act 2008The central piece of legislation for UK climate policy. It sets out the UK’s emissions reduction targets and a number of requirements to hold the government accountable to that target.
Climate LitigationA broad term referring to cases where climate change is the central issue.
COPConference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Agreements on Climate Change – a yearly meeting where world leaders and negotiators reach agreements on climate change.
Emissions TradingPolicies where entities must retire ‘allowances’ to emit greenhouse gases, and can buy or sell allowances from other entities in the emissions trading system.
Environment Act 2021The UK’s framework piece of environmental legislation implemented post-Brexit.
ESGA business’ environmental, social, and corporate governance. Often used by investors to consider the impact of their investments.
Green TaxonomyA regulatory list of activities or products that can be labelled as ‘green’, ‘sustainable’, or similar, now being used in the context of sustainable investing.
Greenhouse GasGases, such as carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, that contribute to the global rise in temperatures.
Greenhouse Gas RemovalMethods, both natural and technical, that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
GreenwashingWhen an organisation purports to have a more positive impact on the environment than it actually does.
IPCCThe Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a UN scientific advisory body that produces authoritative reports on climate change.
Just TransitionA global response to climate change that improves social and economic conditions and does not exacerbate inequalities.
Kyoto ProtocolAn international treaty under the UNFCCC signed in 1997 that committed its parties to greenhouse gas emission reductions, later succeeded by the Paris Agreement.
Loss and DamageThe concept that highly developed countries, which tend to be the largest historical emitters, should compensate developing countries that are often facing the worst climate impacts.  
MitigationActivities taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid climate change, in contrast to adaptation.
Natural CapitalA term to describe natural assets and the value that they bring to humanity.
NDCNationally Determined Contribution – each signatory to the Paris Agreement’s commitment to reduce their emissions.  
Net ZeroWhen the total volume of greenhouse gas emissions is equivalent to the volume of greenhouse gases being sequestered from the atmosphere.
Paris AgreementA 2015 agreement under the UNFCCC which compels parties must communicate their NDCs and establishes mechanisms to help with climate cooperation.
Physical RisksRisks posed by the physical impacts of climate change (e.g. rising temperatures and extreme weather events).
Sustainable DevelopmentA goal relevant to international climate action, traditionally defined as meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations.
TCFDThe Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, which sets disclosure and reporting rules for organisations that are now becoming mandatory in some jurisdictions.
Transition RisksRisks posed by society’s response to climate change, for example market changes and policy mechanisms.
UNFCCCThe United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.