Glossary What does CO₂ equivalent stand for?

CO₂ equivalent (CO₂e)

In addition to carbon dioxide (CO₂), other greenhouse gases are also (climate-)relevant: methane (CH₄), nitrous oxide (N₂O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorinated hydrocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF₆) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF₃). These other greenhouse gases have a stronger climate impact compared to CO₂ (e.g. 1 t methane has the same effect as 28 t CO₂ ( IPCC 2016 )).
The unit CO₂ equivalent (CO₂e) takes this fact into account and makes it possible to offset different greenhouse gases:

Greenhouse gases Greenhouse gas potential CO₂e (100 years)
Carbon dioxide (CO₂) 1
Methane (CH₄) 28
Nitrous oxide (N₂O) 265
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) <1–13,900
Perfluorinated compunds (PFCs) 6,630-11,100
Sulphur hexafluoride (SF₆) 23,500
Nitrogen trifluoride (NF₃) 16,100

(Source: IPCC (2013): “Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Base” [adapted])