A new program in Colorado is designed to help residents buy carbon offsets to counter greenhouse gas pollution. The program is also designed to help protect buyers and ensure that they get what they pay for.
The Colorado Carbon Fund, part of the Governor's Energy Office, is designed to help Colorado governments, businesses, and individuals buy offsets, attract money to Colorado-based projects and verify that the money spent on offsets is being used as intended.
"We want to make sure Colorado consumers have a project available so they know where their money is going," said Susan Innis, manager of the carbon fund. "In some cases, you might not know exactly how your money is being spent or what the environmental impacts are." The verification part of the program would include new standards backed up by audits and a certification process.
It is not entirely clear how the government plants on overseeing the carbon offset market in Colorado, but details are forthcoming.
One funding tool for the carbon fund will be the sale of specialty license plates. To qualify for the plates, drivers will need to make a donation to the Colorado Carbon Fund. They will also need to pay $55.36 for the plate. Lawmakers added a nice touch to the bill; Vehicles over 16,000 pounds will not be eligible to a Colorado Carbon Fund license plate.
The Carbon Fund will be up and running later this spring.
Photo courtesy of esparta