Changes to help manage the effects of global warming, for example, building flood defences.

Alternative fuel solutions

Also called non-conventional and advanced fuels, alternative fuel solutions are materials or substances that can be used as fuels, other than conventional fuels. Examples can include fossil fuels and nuclear materials.

Avoided emissions

Helping others to reduce their carbon emissions, so still reducing the total amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.



Bioenergy Carbon Capture and Storage. This is when bioenergy is used along with carbon capture and storage in order to capture any CO2 that is produced during the process of using bioenergy to generate electricity.


A wide range of animals and plants in an environment. These living organisms are paramount to ecosystem survival, for example, without plants, there would be no oxygen.

Biodiversity Net Gain

A human-induced impact that results in the net improvement to biodiversity for a specific area of land.


Fuel that is produced from biomass i.e. plant or animal materials, that is used to generate heat or electricity. For example, wood or sewage. 

Blue Gem Wind

Burges Salmon advised Blue Gem Wind on all aspects of its 96MW floating wind demonstration project, Erebus.

Built Environment

This refers to all surroundings that are built by humans, separate to the natural environment. This includes buildings, parks, and the infrastructure that supports human activity such as transport networks, utilities networks and telecommunications.

Bristol City Council

Burges Salmon advised Bristol City Council in respect of the City Leap Energy Partnership, a transformative and innovative project to procure a strategic partner to develop, construct and own a number of energy and infrastructure opportunities to facilitate the council’s ambition of Bristol being a carbon neutral city by 2030.

British Hydropower Association

This is the only non-governmental professional trade membership organisation solely representing the interests of the UK hydropower industry and its associated stakeholders at regional, national and global levels.


Carbon budget

The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) the world can emit to limit warming to the 2°C target.

Carbon capture

The collection and transport of concentrated carbon dioxide (CO2) from emission sources such as power plants. It is also known as geological sequestration.

Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS)

Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) are methods and technologies that remove, recycle and safely store carbon dioxide (CO2) from flue gas and the Earth's atmosphere.

Carbon dioxide emissions

When carbon dioxide (CO2) is released into the Earth's atmosphere. This is mainly through burning fossil fuels and wood.

Carbon finance

Finance given to carbon dioxide (CO2) reduction projects.

Carbon footprint

The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced by a person or other entity, for example, a country or business.

Carbon neutral

This is when an organisation offsets the carbon they directly emit into the atmosphere by looking at the energy they are using, and the emissions associated with this.

Carbon offsetting

Carbon offsetting is when organisations participate in schemes designed to reduce the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere that arises from any human or industrial activity. More information on understanding carbon offsets can be found here. In June 2021, Burges Salmon announced it had re-partnered with conservation charity Trees for Life for another year, a collaboration that complements the firm’s climate commitments and sees it investing in a rewilding, carbon offsetting project focused on the Scottish Highlands. You can read more about this partnership here.

Carbon tax

The amount of tax that carbon dioxide (CO2) emission sources must pay. It is calculated on a per tonne basis.


CarbonStore’s unique offering unites landowners and environmentally conscious organisations to help offset their carbon emissions by creating new woodlands and restoring degraded peatlands across the UK. Burges Salmon worked with CarbonStore to design a robust set of legal contracts to meet the unique regulatory and compliance requirements of the project. Using our expertise in this field we provided credibility and security for both parties using this innovative and market-leading service. You can read more about what we did here.

Clean energy

Renewable, zero-emission energy that does not pollute the Earth's atmosphere.

Climate change law

Climate change law is an increasing challenge for all organisations. It impacts in many ways: from energy efficiency regimes, greenhouse gas emissions permitting and sustainable investment, to reporting and public scrutiny, carbon trading, and renewable energy. Visit our page here to find out how our climate change and carbon law lawyers can help.

Climate emergency declaration

An action taken by governments and scientists to acknowledge that the climate is in a state of emergency.

Conference of the Parties 26 (COP26)

The Conference of the Parties 26 (COP26) is the 26th UN Climate Change Conference due to take place in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021 where world leaders will discuss what actions need to take place in order to achieve the Paris Agreement and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change goals. Burges Salmon marked the conference with a press release available here.

Cornwall Insight Flexibility Forum

Independent experts in research, analysis, consulting and training to businesses and stakeholders in the Great British, Irish and Australian energy markets.



The reduction of emissions of CO2 or other greenhouse gases from a product, organisation or country. 

Decarbonised economy

An economy based on low-carbon power i.e. one that emits a minimal amount of greenhouse gases. It is also knows as a low-carbon economy (LCE) or low-fossil-fuel economy (LFFE).

Department of Energy and Climate Change

Burges Salmon has advised the Department of Energy and Climate Change on the Green Deal and its ECO brokerage platform.


Ministry of the United Kingdom Government, which has provided GHG measurement guidance that is referenced and applied internationally.


Eden Geothermal

Eden Geothermal was set up by three partners: Eden Project, EGS Energy Ltd, and Bestec (UK) Ltd to unlock the geothermal energy deep in the granite beneath Cornwall by drilling a 5km deep well at the Eden Project. Burges Salmon acted as legal advisors on the debt financing for this landmark project. You can read more in our case study here.


Emissions refer to the discharge of something, most commonly gas or radiation.

Energy white paper

Based on the UK Government's Ten point plan, the energy white paper addresses the transformation of our energy systems, through promoting high-skilled jobs and economic growth to deliver Net Zero emissions by 2050. 

Environmental Product Declaration

An independently verified document that reports environmental data of products based on life cycle assessment and other relevant information and in accordance with the international standard ISO 14025. 


Burges Salmon has advised ESB on the roll out of Electric Vehicle infrastructure across Birmingham

EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS)

A major part of the EU's policy to combat climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through cost-effective measures. 


Floating wind

Floating wind is a term for an offshore wind turbine mounted on a floating structure that allows the turbine to generate electricity in water depths where it is not possible to build fixed-foundation turbines.


Global warming

An increase in the Earth's temperate as a whole, due to the increase in levels of greenhouse gases that absorb infrared radiation. 

Government incentives to reduce carbon emissions

In February 2020 the UK Government announced a £90m drive to reduce carbon emissions. You can read the press release here.

Greenhouse gas emission

Greenhouse gas emissions predominantly include carbon dioxide (CO2), petroleum and natural gas. They are mainly emitted through the burning of fossil fuels and wood, and absorb infrared radiation causing the Earth's temperature to rise i.e. global warming.



Hydrogen is crucial to delivering the UK’s legal commitment to reach Net Zero by 2050. We are already at the forefront of the hydrogen economy, actively advising on several major hydrogen schemes, in the UK and on an international basis. We are also proud to be at the heart of the hydrogen conversation in the UK: our lawyers are active participants in the UK Hydrogen Fuel Cell Association, sit on the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy’s Hydrogen Task Force working group for standards and regulation, and work closely with the Department for International Trade.


Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change (IPCC)

A UN body that provides politicians with regular scientific research on climate change, including its implications and potential future risks, and adaption and mitigation plans. You can find out more here.

ITM Power

Burges Salmon has been advising ITM Power on its hydrogen electrolyser business for the last 10 years.


Low Carbon Economy (LCE)

An economy based on low-carbon power i.e. one that emits a minial amount of greenhouse gases. It is also knows as a decarbonised economy or a low-fossil-fuel economy (LFFE).


Marks & Spencer

Burges Salmon advised M&S on the award winning community energy scheme, M&S Energy Society, which involves the purchase by M&S of renewable electricity generated by solar panels installed on its stores across the UK, with the generating infrastructure being financed by members of community energy organisation Energy4All.

Methane reformation

A method of extracting hydrogen, ammonia, natural gas and other products from hydrocarbon fuels. This includes both Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) and Autothermal reforming (ATR).


Net Zero buildings

A building that generates as much energy as it consumes, thereby cancelling each other out.

Net Zero carbon

Net Zero carbon is when greenhouse gas emissions are dramatically reduced and any remaining emissions offset, which in turn neutralises environmental impact and slows climate change. 

Net Zero compatible

This means that an organisation is developing a Net Zero strategy or/and is making investment n order to achieve their their decarbonisation targets. 

Net Zero pledge

As part of its ongoing commitment to the environment and to taking positive action on climate change Burges Salmon is formally announcing a public commitment to be Net Zero by the end of 2026. You can read more about our pledge here.

Natural and green gas

Green gas differs from natural gas in that it is a renewable energy source that can be used in the same way as energy produced by natural gas - but without the harsh environmental impact. 

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The act of compensating for unabated GHG emissions by retiring (cancelling) carbon credits.

Offshore wind

Power produced by offshore wind, mainly wind farms by the sea, that use wind energy to generate electricity.


Paris Agreement

A legally binding treaty signed by 196 parties at the Conference of Parties 26 (COP26) in Paris 2015. Its goal is to reduce global warming to at least 2°C. Every five years, countries must submit their action plans to reach this target. You can read more here.

Pembrokeshire Coastal Forum CIC (Marine Energy Wales)

This is an award winning Community Interest Company that works to protect the coast and marine environments for current and future generations to enjoy. PCF has a dedicated team who are experts at providing independent stakeholder engagement, project development and partnership working. You can read more here.

Progressive Energy and Cadent

Burges Salmon advised Progressive Energy and Cadent on the flagship Hynet North West Carbon Capture and Storage and hydrogen cluster project in relation to CO2 aspects and pipelines as well as other participants in all Government led CCUS commercialisation competitions to date.


Quality control

A measure that ensures an entity's greenhouse gas emission data is a true representation. This is usually represented by a certificate.


Reducing Co2 emissions

Reducing the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) that is released into the earth's atmosphere and mainly contributing to global warming.

Regen SW

Regen SW are at the centre of energy expertise and market insight whose mission is to transform the world’s energy systems for a zero carbon future.

Renewable energy

With the UK committed to reducing its carbon emissions, renewable energy has never been more important. Our renewable energy lawyers understand the financial, policy and regulatory challenges facing our clients and are experienced in driving renewable energy projects to completion. Read more about how we can help here.


The UK’s leading trade body for the future energy system, of which Burges Salmon is a member. You can find out more here.


Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)

More than 1,000 businesses are working with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) to reduce their emissions in line with climate science. Burges Salmon have made set our Business Ambition for 1.5oC. You can find out more here.

Scottish Renewables

Burges Salmon are working to grow Scotland’s renewable energy sector and sustain its position at the forefront of the global clean energy industry. You can find out more here.

Smart solutions

The use of digital technology to offer enhanced communication with customers and other smart technology to achieve outcomes. Examples of this are smart energy, smart systems and smart building controls. This can be a vital part of an organisation's decarbonisation strategy. 

Solar Energy UK

Formerly Solar Trade Association, an established trade association working for and representing the entire solar and energy storage value chain, of which Burges Salmon is a member. You can find out more here.


Activity that addresses the needs of the present without jeopardising those of the future. It is based on three core values: economic growth, social progress and environmental protection. 

Sustainable finance

Finance teams within organisations are key in supporting efforts to progress towards net zero – whether it be the allocation of funds, or redirecting finance away from unsustainable outcomes and towards those that are sustainable.

Sustainable food production

Non-polluting processes used to produce food that meets the needs of the present without jeopardising those of the future. 

Sustainable Soils Alliance

Burges Salmon sits on the Sustainable Soils Alliance - a partnership of farming organisations, businesses, NGOs, applied science and academia working together to reverse the current soils crisis and restore our soils to health within one generation. You can read more here.

Sustainable transport

Transport that meets the needs of the present without jeopardising those of the future. This includes both social and environmental factors, and ranges from the energy used, the vehicle itself and infrastructure to support travel. 


Trading schemes

Changes to help manage the effects of global warming, for example, building flood defences.

Trees for Life

In June 2021, Burges Salmon announced it has re-partnered with conservation charity Trees for Life for another year, a collaboration that complements the firm’s climate commitments and sees it investing in a rewilding, carbon offsetting project focused on the Scottish Highlands. You can read more here.


UK Climate Change Act

The UK Climate Change Act was introduced in 2008. You can view the Act and all its updates here.

UK Green Building Council

Burges Salmon Partner Ross Polkinghorne sits on the UK Green Building Council Whole Life Carbon Roadmap New Build Task Group.


The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) is a charity with over 600 member organisations that represents leaders in the construction and property sectors, who are striving for a better and more sustainable built environment and decarbonisation. Burges Salmon has provided legal support to a task group that has delivered Renewable Energy Procurement & Carbon Offsetting Guidance for Net Zero Carbon Buildings. Read the case study in full here.


Burges Salmon supports stakeholders across the entire value chain of both the Hydrogen sector and the Fuel Cell industry. A leader in advocating for and accelerating the transition to Net Zero in the UK through the deployment of hydrogen & fuel cell solutions.


Burges Salmon advised UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) on its funding of the Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor (SMR). The objective is to advance and mature a UK design of a small nuclear reactor that can potentially deliver low carbon power in the future to support the UK policy objective of Net Zero by 2050. You can read more here.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international environmental treaty signed by 154 states at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 that addresses climate change. You can read more here.

United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority

Burges Salmon was the principal legal adviser to the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, assisting it with its mission to research and develop fusion energy and associated technologies.

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Vertical farming

Vertical farming is when crops are grown in vertically stacked layers, rather than the more histrocal horizontal method. The main advantage of doing this is that the volume of crop grown comes within a smaller area of land.


Whole system

The collective use and generation of energy, including the use of greenhouse gases. 

Wind farming

Wind farming uses windmills or turbines to generate electrical power through their mechanical motions as they are pushed by the wind. The kinetic energy in wind is a renewable energy resource - there are no fuel costs and no polluting gases are produced.


Zero carbon footprint

Zero carbon footprint refers to an organisation who eliminate their entire contributions to carbon emissions. As more and more firms make this a priority, the need for clear legal solutions has never been more important. Visit our Net Zero hub to find out more about how Burges Salmon's market-leading team can help.

Zero emissions

A term used to describe a state where no greenhouse gas is emitted. 

Key contact

Ross Fairley

Ross Fairley Partner

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Head of Renewable Energy
  • Environment

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