Purpose of the Group

GT Climate

To encourage low-carbon beef and dairy production.

Terms and definitions related to greenhouse gas emissions

LOW CARBON EMISSION/LOW CARBON

Term used to identify technologies/processes/practices that mitigate carbon equivalente emissions in comparison with traditional systems.

 

BALANCE OF EMISSIONS

Net result between the emission and removal of CO2 equivalent in a given enterprise.

 

CARBON NEUTRAL

Term used to explain that the volumes of CO2 released into the atmosphere by the company’s activities are offset by an equal amount that is removed from the atmosphere.

 

LOW CARBON BEEF

Concept brand created by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) with the support of Marfrig Global Foods and the purpose of fostering sustainable  ranching using agropastoral integration systems (crop-livestock) to mitigate methane emissions from cattle grazing. The entire low carbon beef production process is recognized, certifiable and auditable.

 

The system only counts the carbon stored in the soil.¹

 

CARBON NEUTRAL BEEF

Concept brand created by the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa) which consists in livestock farming using silvopastoral (livestock-forest) or agrosilvopastoral (croplivestock-forest) integration systems, with the objective of neutralizing the emission of greenhouse gases by the cattle. A system with a forest component, where only this carbon is accounted for.

 

It does not include carbon stored in the soil.¹

 

CO2e (CARBON DIOXIDE EQUIVALENT)

Carbon dioxide equivalent or CO2 equivalent, abbreviated as CO2e, is a metric used to compare the emissions of various greenhouse gases based on their global warming potential (GWP), converting amounts of other gases to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same potential to increase temperatures in the atmosphere.²

 

SCOPE

Scope 1: direct emissions from sources of the inventorying organization or controlled by it.

Scope 2: indirect emissions from the acquisition of electrical and thermal energy used by the inventorying organization. This category includes greenhouse gas emissions from the generation of electrical and thermal energy purchased by the organization.

Scope 3: all other indirect emissions not reported in Scope 2. Scope 3 emissions are a consequence of the company’s activities, but they come from sources that do not belong to or are not controlled by the inventorying organization, usually related to its value chain Scope 3 is an optional reporting category in the GHG Protocol.³

 

EMISSION FACTOR

Coefficient that quantifies the emissions or removals of a gas per unit of activity.

 

GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL (GWP)

Each greenhouse gas is capable of retaining heat to a certain extent, and this capacity can be compared to the capacity of carbon dioxide to perform the same function. This relationship can be expressed through the global warming potential (GWP) of each gas, and the reference values can be found in IPCC reports. Therefore, GWP is a relative measure that compares the gas in question with the same amount of carbon dioxide (whose potential is set to 1).⁵

 

GLOBAL WARMING POTENTIAL STAR (GWP*)

It complements conventional climate metrics, like GWP100, because GWP* is better at

describing the actual warming caused by methane (CH4) emissions. For example, using

GWP100, a steady annual rate of CH4 emissions could be misinterpreted as having a 3-4 times greater impact on warming than observed. The adoption of GWP* can correct this flawed estimate.⁶

 

EMISSION INTENSITY

Coefficient that quantifies the emissions or removals of a gas per unit of a certain activity, like CO2eq/kg of beef. This term is normally used by the industry in association with a certain activity, different from emission factor, which would be the technical term.

 

MITIGATION

Stop emitting or reduce emissions, as well as increase carbon sequestration in a given activity.⁷

NET ZERO/ZERO NET EMISSIONS

The commitment to achieve emission equilibrium, in other words, anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are offset by anthropogenic removals during a specified period. The full expression is net zero carbon emissions.⁸

 

EMISSION/CLIMATE NEUTRALITY

Terms used to refer to a state in which net greenhouse gas emissions from human activities equal zero. It is achieved when greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere are equal to the amount of greenhouse gases removed from the atmosphere during a specified period.⁹

TIER

A tier represents the level of methodological complexity that is adopted in the inventory of a country. Usually, there are three tiers:

Tier 1: basic method. Recommended for situations where country-specific emission factors are not available, or there are activity-related data limitations, like lack of information on land use or herd populations. In these cases, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines provide default data to enable the production of estimates.

Tier 2: intermediate method. Recommended for situations where specific emission factors for the main conditions of the country or region and/or greater detail for the activity data are available.

Tier 3: more demanding in terms of complexity and data needs. In the case of the United Nations Framework Convention, it refers to the use of methodological procedures that have been specifically prepared by the country, which may include modeling and greater detailing of inventory measurements.¹⁰

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