GLOSSARY OF TERMS

Additionality

A foundational principal of carbon markets. Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are additional if they would not have occurred in absence of a market that offered credits. If the carbon would have been sequestered anyway, without an opportunity for a credit to be produced, they are not considered additional.

Carbon Markets

Carbon market generally refers to an economic framework that supports buying and selling of environmental commodities that signify emission reductions or sequestration.

Carbon Negativity

To offset more carbon than you contribute to the environment through carbon capture, sequestration, or avoidance.

Carbon Neutrality

Making no net release of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, especially through offsetting emissions.

Carbon Offset

An instrument representing the reduction, avoidance, or sequestration of one metric tonne of Carbon Dioxide (CO­2­) or greenhouse gas (GHG) equivalent.

COMET Model

The CarbOn Management Evaluation Tool (COMET) is an online management tool that provides a simple and reliable method for estimating changes in soil carbon sequestration, fuel, and fertilizer use resulting from changes in land management. COMET calculates in real time the annual carbon flux using a dynamic Century model simulation.  

Lookback Credits

Many farmers who have utilized conservation practices on their land for years prior to establishment of carbon or ecosystem markets have questions about receiving credit for carbon offsets or other ecosystem services provided during that time. This is often referred to as a “lookback” credit.

Permanence

The concept, or term, of permanence refers to the level of stability of stored carbon and potential risk associated with reversal or loss of GHG emissions back to the atmosphere. CO­2 credit buyers, markets, and registries want to ensure that their investment in carbon offsets is keeping CO­2 out of the atmosphere permanently.

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