Just as I was getting geared up to give my money to Terrapass, along comes CarbonFund.org. Unlike Terrapass they’re nonprofit, but I’m not sure about the way the money gets used. See, while Terrapass uses proceeds to pay industries to pollute less, Carbonfund buys up carbon credits. Buying credits means that fewer companies can use those credits as free passes to pollute. However, I think there is less pressure to be green. Basically what Carbonfund is doing is creating an artificial scarcity of carbon credits. Thus, the idea goes, some companies will not be able to get the credits they need and reduce emissions rather than pay penalties. However, it seems likely that some companies will decide it is worth their while to pay penalties rather than spend money on cutting emissions. So not every dollar gets used as efficiently as one would like.
I’m still not sure. I like the idea that CarbonFund.org is non-profit, but I think I prefer the way Terrapass uses the money… Please add a comment to let me know what you think!
Edit: See the comments below the fold. A guy called Eric Carlson from Carbonfund was kind enough to offer some clarification.
Edit 2: More commenty goodness. Tom Arnold, CEO of Terrapass, adds some more clarification, including the reason they are a little more expensive. I recommend you read both his comment and Eric Carlson’s before deciding on one or the other.