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The Australian Climate Movement Glossary

This page is still being worked on extensively, and many more terms will be added in the next few days. Contact us if you have any suggestions or would like to help out.

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A type of emissions trading scheme whereby a institution (usually the government or an independently appointed body) sets a cap on emissions for a given time period (eg. Half of 1990 emissions by 2020) and then either sells or allocates permits for emissions on a pathway down from current levels to businesses creating greenhouse pollution. The permits can be traded, so if a business reduces it’s emissions by more than it needs to, it can sell excess permits to other businesses who will exceed their permits – this is advocated as a way for the market to find the least-cost means of reducing emissions. Most advocates of a cap-and-trade emissions trading recognise the need for complementary measures to account for market failures (eg. Extra funding for renewable energy development). For more information, see

Climate Protection Bill (or CPB)
This Bill was initiated and drafted by Climate Action Coogee and has since had input from Climate Action Groups across the country. It is a piece of federal legislation that aims to “comprehensively address Australia’s spiralling greenhouse emissions.” For more info, see Climate Protection Bill

Coal is burnt to make electricity and coal-fired power stations currently supply 80% of Australia’s electricity. Coal is Australia’s biggest contribution to global greenhouse emissions. Coal is the single biggest source of Australia’s domestic greenhouse pollution and the emissions caused by the coal we export, when burnt, is roughly equal to all domestic emissions combined (in effect doubling our national contribution to climate change).

Cycle for Climate Protection (or C4CP)
The Cycle for Climate Protection is an event in support of the Climate Protection Bill, also initiated by members of Climate Action Coogee. It is a ride from many places around Australia, all arriving in Canberra on 21 September 2008 to deliver the Climate Protection Bill and postcards signed in support of the Bill to politicians at Parliament House. For more info, see:


ETS (Emissions Trading Scheme)
A system that creates permits for units of greenhouse pollution that can be traded. The federal government currently proposes to introduce a cap-and-trade emissions trading scheme in Australia in 2010. Most advocates of emissions trading recognise the need for complementary measures to account for market failures (eg. Extra funding for renewable energy development). For more information, see


Garnaut Climate Change Review
The Garnaut Review was set-up by the combined state governments prior to the federal election in 2007, after the election, the new federal Labor government joined the parties commissioning the review. The Garnaut Review is modelling the economic costs of taking action and not taking action on climate change in Australia


MRET (Mandatory Renewable Energy Target)
The Mandatory Renewable Energy Target is a federal government scheme to guarantee that a certain proportion of Australia’s total stationary energy (electricity) comes from renewable energy sources. The current target is to source 20% of our electricity from renewable sources in the year 2020. The current legislation has been criticised by environment groups for including solar power and wood waste. See also: renewable energy.


Newcastle Port
Newcastle is the world’s largest coal export port. The NSW government plans to double it’s export capacity in the next few years.

NVDA (Non-Violent Direct Action, or just Direct Action)
Direct action is a tactic used by some environment and community groups in their climate change campaigns. It involves physically obstructing activities that groups want to see stopped. Examples include occupying a coal-fired power station, shutting down a coal train line or locking oneself onto doors inside a fossil-fuel company’s office. Direct action has been a tactic of social change for hundreds of years but was made famous by Mahatma Gandhi in India around the middle 20th Century.

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