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  • FAQ & Glossary

    Do you have questions about Climate Action, how to get involved, or where to get started? Our team are always on hand to help find you the answers.

NESCAN Hub is being funded by the Scottish Government and is one of two regional hub pilot schemes in Scotland.

NESCAN's seed funding applications open annually, find out more information here. Alternatively get in touch with a member of our team for funding support.

Mitigation is about reducing the greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere in order to slow or stop global climate change. Adaptation is about adjusting to the impacts of climate change to reduce the negative impacts and exploit any opportunities.

Find out more definitions in our glossary below.

The climate projections for the next century indicate that the climate trends observed over the last century will continue and intensify over the coming decades. We can expect future changes in climate to be far greater than anything we have seen in the past.

The key long-term climate change trends for Scotland are:

  • Weather will remain variable, it may become more variable
  • Typical summer is hotter and drier
  • Typical winter / autumn is milder and wetter
  • Sea level rise

Find out more here

Can't find what you're looking for? Don't hesitate to reach out to a member of our team!


We know that sustainability & climate change can be complex subject areas, often coming with unfamiliar terms. So we've put together a glossary of common Climate Action terms you'll see throughout our resources to help.


Aberdeen City Council Aberdeen Adapts 

Aberdeen Climate Action (ACA)

Adaptation Scotland 

Allotment - small plots of cultivatable land that are set aside and rented specifically for the production of fruit, vegetables, flowers and herbs. There are allotments available throughout Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City


Biodiversity - the variety of all living species on Earth, including plants, animals, bacteria and fungi, and how they fit together in the web of life, bringing oxygen, water, food and countless other benefits.

Bug hotel (also known as a wildlife hotel or stack) – manmade structure designed to provide a safe hideaway for wildlife and help make use of your garden waste.


Carbon Footprint - More complicated than it may sound, a carbon footprint is the amount of carbon that an organisation or person produces in any given time. To learn more about your carbon footprint and how it contributes to global climate change, check out this free carbon calculator.

Carbon Neutral - a state of net-zero carbon dioxide emissions. This can be achieved by balancing emissions of carbon dioxide with its removal (often through carbon offsetting) or by eliminating emissions. 

Carbon Offsetting - the reduction or removal of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases emissions in order to compensate for emissions made elsewhere. Carbon offset schemes allow individuals and companies to invest in environmental projects around the world in order to balance out their own carbon footprint.

Centre for Energy Transition

Circular economy (also referred to as circularity and CE) - ‘a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible’. (European Union 2015) 

Climate Challenge Fund (CCF)

Climate Change - The change in the long term distribution and severity of weather patterns caused by changes in global temperatures (IEMA 2019). Climate change is both natural (for example volcanic eruptions and the earth’s natural carbon cycle) and man-made (for example burning fossil fuels).  

Climate Change Mitigation - Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to slow or stop global climate change. For example: ​ 

  • Reduce the use of fossil fuels and increase energy efficiency​
  • Waste less through reduce, re-use, recycle, upcycle, resell​ 
  • Reduce travel, increase active travel and fuel-efficient travel​ 

Climate Change Adaptation - Adapting to and building resilience to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events and making changes based on future projected changes in the climate to reduce the negative impacts and exploit any opportunities.  

For example:​ 

  • Flood prevention and management systems​ 
  • Adapting buildings, property and infrastructure​ 
  • Securing energy sources e.g. on site power generator​ 
  • Setting up community response units ​

Climate Ready Aberdeenshire 

Community Interest Company (CIC) – companies and for social enterprises that want to use their profits and assets for the public good.

Community Food Initiatives North East (CFine)

Community Fridge - a refrigerator located in a public space. The fridges, sometimes called "freedges", are a type of mutual aid project that enables food to be shared within a community. Some community fridges also have an associated area for non-perishable food.

Community Gardens - spaces where people come together to grow a variety of produce. These sites are often on city land and can be located on vacant or abandoned lots, putting the space to better use and beautifying the landscape. You can find you nearest community garden on the Royal Horticultural Society website

Composting - is a form of waste disposal where organic waste decomposes naturally under oxygen-rich conditions. Although all waste will eventually decompose, only certain waste items are considered compostable and should be added to compost containers. Food waste, such as banana peels, coffee grinds and eggshells, are great items to compost. 



Environmental Justice - The most vulnerable populations—men, women, and children living in rural areas of developing countries—are often hardest hit by climate change. True environmental justice meaningfully includes all people in the development and enforcement of environmental policies, regardless of the person’s race, colour, national origin, or income.


Fossil fuels - a natural fuel such as coal or gas, formed in the geological past from the remains of living organisms.


Global Warming - The process by which the average surface temperature of the earth increases (IPCC 2020). 

Greenhouse Gases (GHG) - These include carbon dioxide, water vapour, methane, nitrous oxide and hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs).  

Greenhouse Effect - The heating of the earth’s surface due to Greenhouse Gases (GHG) in the atmosphere which absorb and emit long-wave (heat ) radiation. The greenhouse effect is natural, however human activity is exacerbating this effect by increasing the among of GHGs in the atmosphere resulting in global warming. 

Green Spaces - an area of grass, trees, or other vegetation with urban environments designed for recreational or aesthetic purposes.

Green Tariff - a price structure, or an electricity rate, offered by a local utility and approved by the state's Public Utility Commission that allows eligible customers to source up to 100% of their electricity from renewable resources. 



Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.


Just Transition -  is a vision-led, unifying and place-based set of principles, processes, and practices that build economic and political power to shift from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy. This means approaching production and consumption cycles holistically and waste-free.

Just Transition Commission



Low Emission Zones (LEZs)  - are areas where the most polluting vehicles are regulated. Usually this means that vehicles with higher emissions cannot enter the area. In some low emission zones the more polluting vehicles have to pay more if they enter the low emission zone.


Men’s Sheds - community spaces for men to connect, converse and create. The activities are often similar to those of garden sheds, but for groups of men to enjoy together. They help reduce loneliness and isolation, but most importantly, they’re fun. Find out more about them.


North East Scotland Climate Action Network (NESCAN)

Net Zero - a target of completely negating the amount of greenhouse gases produced by human activity, to be achieved by reducing emissions and implementing methods of absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The UK net zero target is 2050. Scotland’s net zero target is 2045.

Net Zero Aberdeen

North East Scotland Biodiversity Partnership (NESBiP)

North East Scotland Biological Records Centre (NESBReC) 



Pollination - occurs when pollen is moved within flowers or carried from flower to flower by pollinating animals or ‘pollinators’ such as birds, bees, bats, butterflies, moths, beetles, or other animals, or by the wind.

Pollution - the introduction of contaminants into the natural environment that cause adverse change. Pollution can take the form of any substance (solid, liquid, or gas) or energy (such as radioactivity, heat, sound, or light). Pollutants, the components of pollution, can be either foreign substances/energies or naturally occurring contaminants.



Regional Community Climate Network

Renewable Energy - comes from the Earth’s natural resources – sunlight, wind, waves, the tides and geothermal heat from deep within our planet. It has two great advantages: unlike oil, coal and gas, it will never run out, and it’s clean – it doesn’t pollute the planet or cause dangerous climate change and is versatile and adaptable.

The main types of renewable energy are: 

  • Biomass energy generated from decaying plant or animal waste or organic material which is burned to generate energy 
  • Hydroelectric (HEP) energy harnessed from the movement of water through rivers, lakes and dams. 
  • Solar energy from sunlight is captured and converted into electricity. 
  • Tidal generated from the movement of tides which drive turbines and create energy. 
  • Wave generated from seawater in and out of a cavities on the shore which drive turbines and create energy. 
  • Wind energy from wind turbines turn wind energy into electricity. 


Repair Cafes - A place where people gather to work on repairing objects of everyday life such as electrical and mechanical devices, computers, bicycles, clothing, and other items.

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)


Scottish Communities Climate Action Network (SCCAN)

Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA)

Sustainable Development – There are over 200 definitions of this term but the most common is the Brundtland definition, ‘Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.  

Scottish Universities Insight Institute (SUII)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) -  are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals which provide a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the plant, now and into the future. They form part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015. The goals include Affordable and clean energy, Sustainable cities & communities, Climate action, Life below water and Life on Land. 

Swap Shop - store or shop where items, especially second hand ones, are traded or sold.



Upcycle - the process of transforming by-products, waste materials or unwanted products into new materials or products.

UNFCCC - Created in 1992, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an environmental treaty which forms the basis for global policy addressing the climate crisis. Its ultimate goal is to prevent human interference from reaching a critical level by mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. 

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