It is not a script file, but rather consists of assignment expressions, one per line.
This example sets the variable FOO to a literal string and modifies the PATH variable: In this file you can also place environment variable assignments, since it gets executed automatically by the Display Manager during the start-up process desktop session as well as by the login shell when one logs in from the textual console.
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The meaning of an environment variable and the format of its value are determined by the application using it.
There are quite a few well-known environment variables for which the meaning and the format have been agreed upon and they are used by many applications.
The shell config file /etc/bash.bashrc is sometimes suggested for setting environment variables system-wide.
While this may work on Bash shells for programs started from the shell, variables set in that file are not available by default to programs started from the graphical environment in a desktop session.
Environment variables provide a way to influence the behaviour of software on the system.