Renewable Energy : Glossary

There are 82 documents in this section.

  • Environment

    23 May 2002

    A combination of the various physical and biological elements that affect the life of an organism. Although it is common to refer to 'the' environment, there are in fact many environments eg, aquatic or terrestrial, microscopic to global, all capable of change in time and place, but all intimately linked and in combination constituting the whole earth/atmosphere system.

  • Development

    23 May 2002

    A process of economic and social transformation that defies simple definition. Though often viewed as a strictly economic process involving growth and diversification of a country's economy, development is a qualitative concept that entails complex social, cultural, and environmental changes. There are many models of what 'development' should look like and many different standards of what constitutes 'success'.

  • Environmentally-sound

    23 May 2002

    The maintenance of a healthy environment and the protection of life-sustaining ecological processes. It is based on thorough knowledge and requires or will result in products, manufacturing processes, developments, etc. which are in harmony with essential ecological processes and human health.

  • Proper resource pricing

    23 May 2002

    The pricing of natural resources at levels which reflect their combined economic and environmental values.

  • Subsidy

    23 May 2002

    A financial benefit or form of assistance given to producers (e.g., grants, loans, tax allowances)which enables them to sell or export goods at less than their costs of production, thus creating unfair competition.

  • World Commission on Environment and Development

    23 May 2002

    Established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1983 to examine international and global environmental problems and to propose strategies for sustainable development. Chaired by Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, the independent commission held meetings and public hearing around the world and submitted a report on its inquiry to the General Assembly in 1987.

  • Sustainable development

    23 May 2002

    Sustainable development has as many definitions as subscribers. In essence, it refers to economic development that meets the needs of all without leaving future generations with fewer natural resources than those we enjoy today. It is widely accepted that achieving sustainable development requires balance between three dimensions of complementary change:

    • Economic (towards sustainable patterns of production and consumption)

    • Ecological (towards maintenance and restoration of healthy ecosystems)

    • Social (towards poverty eradication and sustainable livelihoods)

  • World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD)

    23 May 2002

    The World Summit on Sustainable Development takes place from 26 August - 4 September 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Governments, UN agencies, and civil society organisations will come together to assess progress since the UN Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio in 1992 (hence the title 'Rio + 10' for the Johannesburg meeting).

    Sustainable development is defined in the report from the Rio meeting as being 'economic progress which meets all of our needs without leaving future generations with fewer resources than those we enjoy'.

  • Industrialization

    26 September 2001

    A development path based on expanding a country's capacity to process raw materials and manufacture products for consumers, businesses, and export. This approach to development, first seen in northern Europe in the Industrial Revolution typically entails heavy financial investment in factories and power plants and a rapidly growing demand for energy, particularly fossil fuels.

  • Integrated waste management

    26 September 2001

    A strategy that employs several waste management methods, usually in the following order of preference: source reduction, recycling and reuse, incineration, and disposal in landfills.