Glossary beginning with E

Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.


Early Warning

The provision of timely and effective information, through identified and authoritative institutions, that allows action to be taken before an event.

EarlyWarning Systems

Systems that are used to send emergency population warnings.


A shaking of the earth caused by a sudden movement of rock beneath the Earths surface, usually along a geological fault.

Earthquake Commission

A New Zealand Government-owned Crown entity, established under the Earthquake Commission Act 1993. It provides primary natural disaster insurance to the owners of residential properties in New Zealand.

Economic development

Qualitative change and restructuring in a country's economy in connection with technological and social progress. The main indicator of economic development is increasingÊGNP per capitaÊ(or GDP per capita), reflecting an increase in the economic productivity and average material wellbeing of a country's population. Economic development is closely linked withÊeconomic growth.


The branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth.


A complex set of relationships of living organisms functioning as a unit and interacting with their physical environment . The boundaries of what could be called an ecosystem are somewhat arbitrary, depending on the focus of interest or study. Thus the extent of an ecosystem may range from very small spatial scales to, ultimately, the entire Earth (IPCC, 2001).


The act or process of imparting or acquiring knowledge or skills.Ê


(In revision) An irregularly occurring pattern of abnormal warming of the surface coastal waters off Ecuador, Peru and Chile This coupled atmosphere-ocean phenomenon is associated with the fluctuation of inter-tropical surface pressure pattern and circulation in the Indian and Pacific oceans, called the Southern Oscillation. There have been a number of attempts to define El Ni–o, both quantitatively and qualitatively, but none has achieved universal recognition. This phenomenon triggers a shift in seasonal patterns of weather systems over many subtropical and mid-latitude parts of the globe.

Emergency Management Australia

An Australian Federal Government agency tasked with coordinating governmental responses to national emergency incidents. It also supports state and territory authorities with coordinating and planning for the response to disasters and civil emergencies when they cannot reasonably cope with the needs of the situation.

Emergency Management Australia Institute

A division of the Attorney- GeneralÕs Department, responsible for knowledge and capability development in the national emergency management sector. It actions its responsibilities through the coordination of education , training, professional development , information, research and community awareness services to the nation and regions.

Emergency Management TrainingEconomic Partnership Agreement

A scheme to create a free trade area (FTA) between the European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).

Emergency Operations Centre

The supply, handling, transportation and distribution of resources. It includes all aspects of ordering, receiving, packing, moving, storing and delivering.

Emission Permit

A non-transferable or tradable allocation of entitlements by a government to an individual firm to emit a specified amount of a substance.

Emission Quota

The portion or share of total allowable emissions assigned to a country or group of countries within a framework of maximum total emissions and mandatory allocations of resources or assessments.

Emission reduction unit (ERU)

A Kyoto Protocol unit equal to 1 metric tonne of CO2 equivalent. ERUs are generated for emission reductions or emission removals from joint implementation projects.

Emission Standard

A level of emission that under law may not be exceeded.

Emissions trading

One of the three Kyoto mechanisms , by which an Annex I Party may transfer Kyoto Protocol units to, or acquire units from, another Annex I Party. An Annex I Party must meet specific eligibility requirements to participate in emissions trading .

Energy efficiency

Using less energy/electricity to perform the same function. Programs designed to use electricity more efficiently - doing the same with less.

Energy Intensity

Ration of energy consumption and economic or physical output. At the national level, energy intensity is the ratio of total domestic primary energy consumption or final energy consumption to gross domestic product or physical output.

Energy renewable

Renewable energy is power generated from infinite sources, such as wind or solar power. Conventional energy is generated from finite sources, such as natural gas or fossil oil.


The combination of elements whose complex interrelationships make up the settings, the surroundings and the conditions of life of the individual and of society, as they are or as they are felt. The environment includes the built environment , the natural environment and all natural resources , including air, land and water . It also includes the surroundings of the workplace.

Environment and Hazards

A natural or other hazard that can be expected to have its primary impact on a part of the environment .


The reduction of the capacity of the environment to meet social objectives and needs. Potential effects are varied and may contribute to an increase in vulnerability and the frequency and intensity of natural hazards . Some examples: land degradation , deforestation , desertification, wild land fires, loss of biodiversity, land, water and air pollution , climate change , sea level rise, ozone depletion.


Study undertaken in order to assess the effect on a specified environment of the introduction of any new factor, which may upset the ecological balance. EIA is a policy making tool that serves to provide evidence and analysis of environmental impacts of activities from conception to decision-making. It is utilised extensively in national programming and for international development assistance projects. An EIA must include a detailed risk assessment and provide alternatives solutions.

Environmental Vulnerability Index

An indicator-based method for estimating the vulnerability of the environment to hazards .

Equivalent CO2

The concentration of CO2 that would cause the same amount of radiative forcing as the given mixture of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

European Commission

An executive body of the European Union representing its interests. It is responsible for proposing legislation , implementing decisions, upholding EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU.

European Union

An economic and political partnership between 28 European countries, created following the Second World War. The EU is a party to both the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol .


The short term transfer of people from their homes or workplaces because of a threatened or actual hazard impact.

Exclusive Economic Zone

A sea zone prescribed by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea over which a state has special rights regarding the exploration and use of marine resources, including energy production from water and wind.

Executive Board of the Clean Development Mechanism

A 10-member panel elected at COP-7 which supervises the CDM.

Expert Group on Technology Transfer (EGTT)

An expert group established at COP 7 with the objective of enhancing the implementation of Article 4.5 of the Convention, by analyzing and identifying ways to facilitate and advance technology transfer activities under the Convention. The EGTT completed its work in 2010.

Expert review teams

Groups of experts, nominated by Parties, who review national reports submitted by Annex I Parties to the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol .

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