Paris Agreement:

The first legally-binding international treaty on climate change, aimed at holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and at pursuing efforts to limit the temperature to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2015).


Adjustments in ecological, social or economic systems in response to actual or expected climatic stimuli and their effects. (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, n/d)

Coordination of formulation processes

NDC formulation processes –updated to 2020– and decision-making bodies and mechanisms. Covers the formulation of long-term strategies.

Financial coordination

Mechanisms for mobilizing climate finance and the logic of finance strategies for NDCs, aiming for countries to develop finance flows compatible with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

Political, legal and institutional coordination:

Legislación, normativa e institucionalidad relacionada directamente al cambio climático y la implementación de la NDC.

Sectoral coordination:

Inter-institutional coordination for decision-making regarding adaptation and mitigation measures included in NDCs, and sectoral allocations or targets where applicable.

Social coordination

Qualitative and quantitative participation of diverse stakeholders, especially non-governmental stakeholders, in the development and implementation of NDCs.

Regional coordination

Coordination and definition of commitments between the local, provincial/regional and national levels, including the implementation of NDCs in the region and local allocations where applicable.

Emissions gap

The difference between greenhouse gas emissions projections for 2030 and the levels they should be at to meet a climate target (e.g., unconditional or conditions NDCs, the 1.5°C and 2°C targets) (United Nations Environment Programme, 2019).

Climate change

A change of climate attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods. (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1992)

Nationally determined contributions (NDCs)

Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) Ambitious, progressive and successive commitments established by countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In light of the Paris Agreement, from 2016 to 2020 countries embarked on a process of legal, institutional and organizational implementation of the NDCs to define their targets, along with a monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system.

Coordination dimensions:

The implementation of NDCs in the countries of the region depends, to a large extent, on a country’s capacity to coordinate key financial, social, political, legal, institutional, sectoral and regional dimensions. The country’s experience in the actual process of formulating its NDCs is also included as a dimension of coordination.

Greenhouse gas emissions:

Greenhouse gases occur naturally and are essential to life: they play a role in retaining heat on the planet to maintain a global average temperature suitable for life on Earth. This natural process is called the Greenhouse Effect. Human activity has altered the Greenhouse Effect through population growth, industrialization and the excessive consumption of resources, releasing large quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and increasing their presence to levels never seen before.

Greenhouse gas emissions per GDP (Carbon intensity):

Amount of greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP produced. Measured as the kilograms of CO2 emitted per dollar of GDP (kgCO2eq / US$).

Business-as-usual scenario:

Projected greenhouse gas emissions for 2030 based on the assumption that trends in both an economy’s GDP and carbon intensity will continue unchanged from a baseline year between 1990 and 2014.

1.5°C Target Scenario

Projected greenhouse gas emissions for 2030 consistent with the goal of a temperature increase of no more than 1.5°C. Equivalent to a 45% reduction in emissions from 2010 levels.

2°C Target Scenario

Projected greenhouse gas emissions for 2030 consistent with the goal of a temperature increase of no more than 2°C. Equivalent to a 25% reduction in emissions compared to 2010 levels.

NDC scenario (unconditional + conditional)

Projected greenhouse gas emissions for 2030 consistent with targets set in the unconditional and conditional NDC.

Trend scenario

The trend scenario is constructed using the four possible scenarios: Business-as-Usual, based on the assumption that the historical trend in emissions continues; the NDC scenario, based on the assumption that countries comply with adopted commitments on a conditional and unconditional basis; the 2° and 1.5° target scenarios, based on a reduction sufficient to limit temperature increases to 1.5° or 2° above pre-industrial levels.

Low-emission development strategies

Economic development plans with greenhouse gas emission reductions through 2050. (United Nations, 2015)

Carbon tax

A financial instrument that establishes a price for each ton of greenhouse gases emitted. (World Wide Fund for Nature International, n/d).

Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC)

Establishes a country’s intention to reduce their emissions and increase resilience. (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2015)

Climate change legislation

National legislation that establishes general provisions for the comprehensive management of climate change, in order to reduce vulnerability and seize the opportunities offered by low-carbon growth. (Ministry of the Environment of Peru, 2018)

Absolute target

Reduction or controlled increased of absolute emissions relative to a base year. One type of absolute target is carbon neutrality, whereby net zero emissions are achieved by a certain date relative to a target year.

Intensity target

A reduction in emissions relative to a unit of another variable, usually GDP. For example, a 40% reduction from 1990 base year intensity by 2020.

Target of policies and measures

Implementation of policies and action in one or multiple sectors to promote low-emission development. These include explicit emission reduction targets, and some include other types of targets, such as the percentage of renewable energy sources in an energy mix.

Emissions reduction target

Each country, through its NDCs, has committed to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the framework of the Paris Agreement to avoid a temperature increase of more than 2°C, which would jeopardize the climate security of the planet. Each country determines its contribution independently, and can opt for an absolute reduction target, a target relative to the business-as-usual scenario for the entire economy, an emissions reduction target relative to an emissions projection in specific sectors, a target aimed at implementing measures and policies in specific sectors, or an intensity target relative to other variables (generally GDP).

Relative target:

A commitment to reduce emissions relative to an emissions projection. For example, a 30% reduction in projected emissions by 2030.


Efforts to reduce emissions and enhance carbon sinks. (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, n/d).

National Inventory System

An instrument used for the monitoring, reporting and verification of a set of actions aimed at collecting, evaluating and systematizing information on the emission and removal of greenhouse gases. (Infocarbono, n/d)

Decarbonization rate

This is the average annual rate at which greenhouse gas emissions are decoupled from GDP growth. It is measured as a percentage. A positive sign indicates that the economy is undergoing a carbonization process, while a negative sign implies that the economy is in a decarbonization phase.