How We Select Projects

We’re the titans of transparency.

We work with projects to make as many documents as possible publicly available across a wide range of due diligence areas (as detailed below). We share publicly our internal notes and views on a project, including its specific benefits and challenges. Although we strive to offer the world’s best projects, no project is perfect and we want to be sure that our supporters have access to all the facts.

There is no other platform that offers comparable transparency.

We conduct a meticulous financial analysis and deliver it to your inbox.

We complete full financial and management due diligence on each project. We evaluate where funds are going and who benefits from the sale of carbon credits. This process ensures that the project is solid, and able to continue well into the future and transfers the maximum amount of funding to environmental and social good.

We closely examine the following:

  • The amount reaching the actual beneficiary in the project
  • The costs incurred in the process, including a detailed breakdown of operational and administrative costs
  • The funds held by the project and needed to continue operations
  • Management’s experience, capabilities, and capacity

We verify “absolute additionality.” riveting info below!

We start by looking at projects whose credits are issued, real, and verifiable, but our assessments go well beyond the definitions of additionality established by existing standards.

Additionality is a key concept in carbon emission reducing projects. A project can only be considered additional if it meets the following:

  • It is not legally required to fulfill official policies, regulations, or industry standards
  • It is not profitable without revenue from carbon credits
  • There are barriers that prevent its implementation regardless of profitability
  • It is employing or distributing technologies that are not already in common use

For example, we come across projects that have satisfied the additionality criteria set up by various standard-setting bodies, but often we determine these projects to be non-additional because several other similar projects have continued to operate and grow without receiving funds from sale of carbon credits. Hydropower projects and energy generation from wind are examples of projects that often do not need carbon funding to continue operations; rather, they often receive sufficient income from the sale of the electricity they generate.

Therefore, we closely inspect the additionality analysis as it is often inadequate. The guidelines set to filter non-additional projects are generally theoretical and not assessed with sufficient rigor at the time of verification.

In addition, we have also found projects that receive climate change–related benefits under several regimes subsequent to their registration; hence there are issues of double counting. These issues generally remain unnoticed because the standards do not require a review of additionality at the issuance stage.

Our scientists put their lab goggles on and go to work.

The baseline measurement is a critical aspect of carbon emission reducing programs. If the baseline emissions from existing practices seem unusually high and have not been verified, then the emission reductions and carbon credits created by the project will be much greater than if the baseline reflected existing usual practices and had been thoroughly tested.

We support projects whose baselines are defined by real data and scientific testing.

Typical verifications rely on a sampling approach defined in the registered project documentation. Our assessments cross-verify the claims through random selection of the samples within the entire population.

We disqualify projects that have inaccuracies in their calculation procedures, which cause emission reduction claims to be inflated. This ensures a greater level of certainty and traceability.

We go the extra mile (or kilometer, for our European friends).

We do not limit our scope by geography, project type, or social and environmental standards.

While part of our assessment relies on the technical protocols set up by multilateral organizations, we are not constrained by the standards set up by them. Our due diligence process is structured to encourage a dialogue with project developers that enables selection of projects that both mitigate carbon and help to increase social and economic justice.

Over 90% of each dollar donated goes directly to the project.

Cool Effect does not keep any of the credit card or registry fees. 9.87% goes to Cool Effect to cover the following:

  • Credit Card Fee: 2%-4%
  • Registry fee (where applicable)
  • Research Fee: 1.5%
  • Remainder for Cool Effect Administration Fee