Just one in 10 Brits know what COP26 is, according to a new study by E.ON, as the UN’s flagship climate conference looms at the tail-end of this weekend.
More than 80 per cent of the population would do more for the environment if they were given simpler information about what action to take, the study found.
The research revealed that the jargon surrounding the conference and climate change more broadly has confused the public – which risks locking out large swaths of the population from participating in the net zero push.
Key terms to know for the conference ahead:
COP – stands for Conference of the Parties and is an annual summit hosted by the United Nations which aims to collaborate and tackle climate change.
Carbon – carbon dioxide (CO2) or other carbon compounds found in gas that are released into the Earth’s atmosphere.
Decarbonisation – the process of removing the production of carbon from a process, such as building or the economy more broadly.
Fossil fuels – a natural fuel or gas formed from the remains of living organisms that produce carbon emissions when used.
Carbon neutral – when carbon production is balanced by human efforts to remove carbon emissions.
Carbon footprint – the amount of carbon dioxide emitted as a result of activities by an individual, community, company or economy.
Net zero – a target of offsetting all carbon production via renewable or carbon capture processes.
Carbon capture – the process of containing carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels or other carbon-producing processes and storing it in a way that means it is unable to affect the atmosphere.
Scope 1, 2, 3 emissions – scope 1 are direct emissions from company-controlled sources, scope 2 are indirect emissions from the consumption of electricity, steam, heat or cooling that has been purchased, and scope 3 are indirect emissions not owned by the company but are linked to the company’s operations or supply chains.
Blue hydrogen – where hydrogen gas is produced by steam methane reformation but the emissions are reduced using carbon capture and storage.
Circular economy – a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible to avoid unnecessary emissions.
Tipping point – when it is too late to stop the effects of climate change.
Green recovery – making an economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in a way that helps stop climate change.