This page is part of the Earth Journalism Toolkit’s glossary.
Kyoto Protocol: an international agreement adopted in December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. The Protocol sets binding emission targets for developed countries that would reduce their emissions on average 5.2 percent below 1990 levels.
Land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF): land uses and land-use changes can act either as sinks or as emission sources. LULUCF is terminology used in the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change whose Kyoto Protocol allows parties to receive emissions credit for certain LULUCF activities that reduce net emissions.
Landfill: solid waste disposal in which refuse is buried between layers of soil, a method often used to reclaim low-lying ground; the word is sometimes used as a noun to refer to the waste itself.
Landfill gas: the gas emissions from biodegrading waste in landfill, including carbon dioxide, methane, and small amounts of nitrogen, oxygen with traces of toluene, benzene and vinyl chloride.
Leaching: the movement of chemical in the upper layers of soil into lower layers or into groundwater by being dissolved in water.
Leachate: the mixture of water and dissolved solids (possibly toxic) that accumulates as water passes through waste and collects at the bottom of a landfill site.
Life cycle (of a product): all stages of a product’s development, from raw materials, manufacturing through to consumption and ultimate disposal.
Life Cycle Analysis (LCA): an objective process to evaluate the environmental impacts associated with a product, process, or activity. A means of identifying resource use and waste released to the environment, and to assess management options.