©iStockphoto.com/Roberto Cipriani


Following the green scene, particularly on the policy side of things, can quickly require an organizational or concept decoder ring. For those of us who write about or work in this sphere, everything quickly gets abbreviated and you just start remembering them all and, somewhat unfortunately, assume everyone else does knows them all too. It becomes a language all to itself.

WATCH VIDEO: The top topics in environmental news on Focus Earth

So here's a quick rundown of the more common ones (some of them unofficial...) you're likely to see on Planet Green and TreeHugger, and I tend to throw around, with links for more info where appropriate. For some of them I'll follow up with quickly explicatory posts later.

AOSIS -- Alliance of Small Island States

BPA -- bisphenol A

CFC -- chlorofluorocarbons

CFL -- compact fluorescent lightbulb

CO2 -- carbon dioxide (you knew that one, right?)... the 2 should be sub-script but the web doesn't play particularly well with subscripts, so most people don't use it

COP -- Congress of the Parties

EDF -- Environmental Defense Fund

FAB -- fair, ambitious, binding (what we want out of a global climate deal)

FAO -- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

GHG -- greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, chlorofluorocarbons, ozone)

IPCC -- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

kWh -- kilowatt-hour (also MWh, megawatt-hour; GWh, gigawatt-hour)

LDC -- Least Developed Countries

LED -- light-emitting diode

NRDC -- Natural Resources Defense Council

OLED -- Organic light-emitting diode

ppm -- parts per million

REDD -- Reducing Emissions for Deforestation and Forest Degradation

UNEP -- United Nations Environment Programme (pronounced 'You-Nep' by most, but I like 'You-En-Ee-Pee' as I personally dislike turning abbreviations into new words...)

UNFCCC -- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

UNFPA -- United Nations Population Fund

TNC -- The Nature Conservancy

WCS -- Wildlife Conservation Society

WWF -- World Wildlife Fund or Worldwide Fund for Nature, though WWF is also correct in itself

More: Planet Green's Green Glossary

Solar Power Vocab: Single & Dual Axis Solar Trackers

Green Vocabulary Makes it into Chambers Dictionary

Quiz: How Good is Your Green Vocab???