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Greenhouse Gases - GHG

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Carbon dioxide - CO2

  

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a colorless, odorless, and non-poisonous gas formed by combustion of carbon and in the respiration of living organisms [EC, 2022].  It is considered a greenhouse gas (GHG), i.e., a gas that absorbs infrared radiation and radiates heat in all directions, leading to the global warming, the long-term heating of earth’s surface observed since the pre-industrial period (1850-1900) [NASA, 2023].

CO2 emissions

 

CO2 emissions are largely connected with energy, resulting of burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas.  Industry & electric power generate more than half of global GHG emissions, as can be seen in Figure 1.

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Greenhouse gas - GHG

 

The GHG whose concentrations are rising are CO2, methane (CH4, 25x as potent as CO2, and the 2nd most abundant anthropogenic GHG after CO2, accounting for about 20% of global emissions), nitrous oxide (N2O), and industrial gases such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3).

  

Other greenhouse gases not counted in international greenhouse gas inventories are ozone and water vapor.  The latter is the most abundant GHG, but it is believed that anthropogenic emissions of water vapor contribute very little to the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere [IEA, 2022].

Carbon dioxide equivalent - CO2-eq

 

A carbon dioxide equivalent, or CO2-eq (expressed as million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents - MMTCDE) is a metric measure used to compare the emissions from various GHG on the basis of their global-warming potential (GWP), by converting amounts of other gases to the equivalent amount of CO2 with the same global warming potential.

 

Carbon credit - CC

 

A carbon credit (CC) is a kind of permit that represents 1 ton of CO2 removed from the atmosphere, that can be purchased by an individual or a company to make up for carbon dioxide emissions that come from industrial production, delivery vehicles or travel.  Thus, the CC is a certificate granted to companies or entities that emit GHG emissions.

 

Tokenization

 

Tokenization of carbon credits means that the carbon credits’ information and functionality are moved onto a specific type of database called blockchain (a digital ledger of transactions), where the carbon credit is represented as a token. These tokens represent measurable, verifiable reductions in GHG emissions.

Figure 1:  GHG emissions by sector (2020)

Fig 1 GHG by sector
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