Just as I was getting geared up to give my money to Terrapass, along comes 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 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.

4 thoughts on “”

  1. It’s a tough call. I agree with you that terrapass uses its money better, and I expect that if artificially scarcifying carbon credits like this isn’t already illegal, it will be soon.

    It would be nice if terrapass were non-profit, but only about 10% of the proceeds actually go to profit, right? I’d say go with terrapass.

  2. Folks, TerraPass and use our money exactly the same. They buy carbon credits. We buy carbon credits. They invest in projects, and so do we. We may descibe it a bit different but we are doing exactly the same thing.

    The real difference is we are a nonprofit and they cost about 60-100% more to remove (reduce, retire, etc.) the same amount of CO2.

    I apologize if our website is not clear and will seek to update it quickly.

    Eric Carlson

  3. Hi All — Eric and TerraPass are both trying to accomplish the same thing, and we welcome them in the market (we’re just happy that you took the action)

    However, if you are interested in where TerraPass money goes, it is all explained and documented at

    You’ll notice that we channel about a third of our investments into wind — thats what makes us more expensive.

    Hope that helps you make a good decision. We’re available on the phone or on email if you have additional questions.


    Tom Arnold

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