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COTAP Transparency

Project Annual Reports


Download and view our projects’ most recent annual reports:

Limay, Nicaragua (2015, .pdf, 159 pages, 4.52mb)

Trees for Global Benefits, Uganda (2015, .pdf, 32 pages, 515kb)

Dowa &  Neno, Malawi (2015, .pdf, 30 pages, 1.36mb)

East Khasi Hills, India (2015, .pdf, 52 pages, 1.75mb)



Sofala, Mozambique (2013, .pdf, 144 pages, 5.4mb). COTAP paused Sofala allocations effective 2/5/15. On 12/30/15, we announced that the project would be permanently phased out of COTAP.



Disbursals: Where Cotappers’ contributions go, and When

Here’s when we’ve disbursed our customers’ pooled carbon offset transactions to our projects and when carbon credits have been retired on your behalf. Also, please see our blog’s Transparency section for details about disbursals pertaining to a specific timeframe. To view the respective retirement record on the Markit Environmental Registry, click on an entry’s Retirement date:

ProjectBeginEndPaid
Retirement(s)Vintage
All8/28/16TodayTBDTBDTBD
Nicaragua11/1/158/27/169/14/16TBDTBD
Uganda11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/7/16 (1/7)2014
Uganda11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/7/16 (2/7)2014
Uganda11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/7/16 (3/7)2014
Uganda11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/7/16 (4/7)2014
Uganda11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/7/16 (5/7)2014
Uganda11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/7/16 (6/7)2014
Uganda11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/7/16 (7/7)2014
Malawi11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/6/16 (1/7)2014
Malawi11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/6/16 (2/7)2014
Malawi11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/6/16 (3/7)2014
Malawi11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/6/16 (4/7)2014
Malawi11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/6/16 (5/7)2014
Malawi11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/6/16 (6/7)2014
Malawi11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/6/16 (7/7)2014
India11/1/158/27/169/14/169/29/16 (1/11)2012
India11/1/158/27/169/14/169/29/16 (2/11)2012
India11/1/158/27/169/14/169/29/16 (3/11)2012
India11/1/158/27/169/14/169/29/16 (4/11)2012
India11/1/158/27/169/14/169/29/16 (5/11)2012
India11/1/158/27/169/14/169/29/16 (6/11)2012
India11/1/158/27/169/14/169/29/16 (7/11)2012
India11/1/158/27/169/14/169/29/16 (8/11)2012
India11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/6/16 (9/11)2012
India11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/6/16 (10/11)2012
India11/1/158/27/169/14/1610/6/16 (11/11)2012
Uganda2/25/1510/31/1511/17/151/27/16 (1/4)2010
Uganda2/25/1510/31/1511/17/151/27/16 (2/4)2010
Uganda2/25/1510/31/1511/17/151/28/16 (3/4)2010
Uganda2/25/1510/31/1511/17/151/28/16 (4/4)2010
India2/25/1510/31/1511/4/151/27/16 (1/6)2014
India2/25/1510/31/1511/4/151/27/16 (2/6)2014
India2/25/1510/31/1511/4/151/28/16 (3/6)2014
India2/25/1510/31/1511/4/151/28/16 (4/6)2014
India2/25/1510/31/1511/4/151/28/16 (5/6)2014
India2/25/1510/31/1511/4/151/28/16 (6/6)2014
Malawi2/25/1510/31/1511/6/151/26/16 (1/3)2013
Malawi2/25/1510/31/1511/6/151/26/16 (2/3)2013
Malawi2/25/1510/31/1511/6/151/26/16 (3/3)2013
Nicaragua2/25/1510/31/1511/2/151/26/16 (1/3)2015
Nicaragua2/25/1510/31/1511/2/151/26/16 (2/3)2015
Nicaragua2/25/1510/31/1511/2/151/26/16 (3/3)2015
Uganda6/10/142/24/152/11/15 & 3/3/153/17-3/31 '15 (5/5)2012
Uganda6/10/142/24/152/11/15 & 3/3/153/17-3/31 '15 (3/5)2012
Uganda6/10/142/24/152/11/15 & 3/3/153/17-3/31 '15 (2/5)2012
Malawi6/10/142/24/152/25/153/17-3/31 '15 (5/5)2013
Malawi6/10/142/24/152/25/153/17-3/31 '15 (4/5)2013
Malawi6/10/142/24/152/25/153/17-3/31 '15 (3/5)2013
Malawi6/10/142/24/152/25/153/17-3/31 '15 (2/5)2013
Malawi6/10/142/24/152/25/153/17-3/31 '15 (1/5)2013
Mozambique6/10/142/4/153/10/153/17-3/31 '15 (2/2)2012
Mozambique6/10/142/4/153/10/153/17-3/31 '15 (1/2)2012
Uganda6/10/142/24/152/11/15 & 3/3/153/17-3/31 '15 (1/5)2012
Nicaragua6/10/142/24/152/26/151/25/16 (1/4)2015
Nicaragua6/10/142/24/152/26/151/25/16 (2/4)2015
Nicaragua6/10/142/24/152/26/151/25/16 (3/4)2015
Nicaragua6/10/142/24/152/26/151/25/16 (4/4)2015
India6/10/142/24/153/16/153/19-3/31 '15 (1/6)2012
India6/10/142/24/153/16/153/19-3/31 '15 (2/6)2012
India6/10/142/24/153/16/153/19-3/31 '15 (3/6)2012
India6/10/142/24/153/16/153/19-3/31 '15 (4/6)2012
India6/10/142/24/153/16/153/19-3/31 '15 (5/6)2012
India6/10/142/24/153/16/153/19-3/31 '15 (6/6)2012
Uganda6/10/142/24/152/11/15 & 3/3/153/17-3/31 '15 (4/5)2012
India3/14/146/9/146/16/147/8/14 (1 of 3)2012
India3/14/146/9/146/16/147/31/14 (3 of 3)2012
India3/14/146/9/146/16/147/9/14 (2 of 3)2012
Mozambique1/3/146/9/146/30/147/31/14 (3 of 4)2011
Mozambique1/3/146/9/146/30/147/9/14 (2 of 4)2011
Mozambique1/3/146/9/146/30/147/31/14 (4 of 4)2011
Mozambique1/3/146/9/146/30/147/8/14 (1 of 4)2011
Malawi12/10/136/9/146/17/147/9/14 (2 of 4)2010
Malawi12/10/136/9/146/17/147/8/14 (1 of 4)2010
Malawi12/10/136/9/146/17/147/31/14 (3 of 4)2010
Malawi12/10/136/9/146/17/147/31/14 (4 of 4)2010
Uganda12/8/136/9/146/11/147/31/14 (3 of 4)2010
Uganda12/8/136/9/146/11/147/31/14 (4 of 4)2010
Uganda12/8/136/9/146/11/147/9/14 (2 of 4)2010
Uganda12/8/136/9/146/11/147/8/14 (1 of 4)2010
Nicaragua12/7/136/9/146/12/1412/12/14 (1 of 4)2014
Nicaragua12/7/136/9/146/12/1412/12/14 (2 of 4)2014
Nicaragua12/7/136/9/146/12/1412/12/14 (3 of 4)2014
Nicaragua12/7/136/9/146/12/1412/12/14 (4 of 4)2014
Mozambique6/19/131/2/141/24/142/19/14 (2 of 2)2011
Mozambique6/19/131/2/141/24/142/19/14 (1 of 2)2011
Nicaragua4/27/1312/6/1312/10/131/9/14 (1 of 2)2013
Nicaragua4/27/1312/6/1312/10/131/9/14 (2 of 2)2013
Uganda3/4/1312/7/1312/10/131/12/14 (2 of 3)2010
Uganda3/4/1312/7/1312/10/131/12/14 (3 of 3)2010
Uganda3/4/1312/7/1312/10/131/12/14 (1 of 3)2010
Malawi2/15/1312/9/1312/11/131/9/14 (1 of 2)2010
Malawi2/15/1312/9/1312/11/131/9/14 (2 of 2)2010
Uganda1/14/133/3/133/7/134/4/132010
Mozambique1/14/136/18/136/19/136/23/132011
Nicaragua11/5/124/26/135/3/1312/18/132013
Malawi10/13/122/14/132/19/133/15/132010
Uganda9/18/111/13/131/16/131/21/132011
Mozambique9/18/111/13/131/18/131/28/132010
Nicaragua9/16/1111/4/1211/9/121/7/132012

Explanation Of The Above Table

Each row above represents a transaction between COTAP and the listed partner/project. If your transaction fell on/between the given Begin/End dates (per Pacific time in the U.S. / GMT-8), carbon credits pertaining to your chosen tonnes and project(s) were retired on your behalf on the Markit Environmental Registry on the respective “Retirement” date. Prior to July 2014 retirements were made in COTAP’s name in our partners’ Markit accounts, and starting in July 2014 COTAP began making retirements in its own Markit account.

“Retirement” is the event when credits are permanently de-listed from the registry, meaning they cannot be re-sold, and it’s when your offset transaction to a project, through COTAP, technically becomes official. “Paid” is the date of COTAP’s wire transfer to the listed partner/project. “Vintages” indicates the planting year of the trees which are projected to sequester your CO2 emissions.

A Detailed Example

Here’s how tonnes from an actual transaction were allocated, with the Cotapper’s name changed to protect their privacy. On 12/6/12, Gary Swanson chose the Quick & Easy offsetting option, contributing $150 with tonnes to be allocated evenly to all COTAP projects (Nicaragua, Uganda, Mozambique, and Malawi at the time of Gary’s transaction).

COTAP’s portfolio average donation rate is $9.90 per tonne, so 3.788 tonnes were allocated to each project. Because COTAP’s margins are 100% transparent, we know that for the Nicaragua, Uganda, Mozambique, and Malawi projects COTAP charges $8.80, $8.80, $12.10, $9.90 and pays out $8, $8, $11, and $9 respectively. Thus each project was respectively owed $30.30/$30.30/$41.67/$34.09.

The funds from Gary’s $150 offset transaction were paid out on 5/3/13, 1/16/13, 1/18/13, and 2/19/13, respectively and retirement of credits pertaining to Gary’s offset transaction occurred or will occur on 12/15/13 (not a typo!), 1/21/13, 1/28/13, and 3/15/13, respectively. 3.788 of Gary’s tonnes are supporting the Nicaragua project’s 2013 planting season or “vintage” (explained below), 3.788 tonnes were offset by Uganda’s 2011 vintage, 3.788 tonnes were offset by Mozambique’s 2010 vintage, and 3.788 tonnes were offset by Malawi’s 2010 vintage.

COTAP itself earned $13.64 on this transaction, out of which $4.65 went to Google Checkout transaction fees (we’ve since switched to 100% PayPal). COTAP tracks all of the above details each and every time someone offsets their CO2 emissions with us.

Margins: How much our projects and farmers benefit

Many “.org” carbon offsets providers are actually privately-owned and for-profit. Many of them do offer certified projects which benefit disadvantaged persons in developing countries. They often refer to their projects as “charismatic” or as having “co-benefits,” like distributed water filters and clean cookstoves which save their target populations money otherwise spent on fuel and improve health by reducing exposure to air pollution.

But when one asks, “What percentage of the carbon revenues actually reach and are shared with their target beneficiary populations?” few, if any, will disclose their margins, or how much profit they make off of the sale of carbon credits. With COTAP, answering that question – what percentage of your carbon dollars actually goes to the people whose faces you see on our website – is part of our mission. From the day COTAP launched, that’s been an explicit aspect of our mission and brand, on an equal footing with our mission of empowering individuals in developed countries to address their CO2 emissions which contribute to climate change.

COTAP adds a modest and fully transparent 10% to the amount we pass on to our projects. For example, if a project’s per-tonne donation rate is $9.90, COTAP pays that project $9 and keeps $.90 for its nonprofit earned income. For any COTAP offset project/amount, this means that 90.9% goes to the project(s) and 9.1% goes to COTAP.

That 9.1% helps cover our PayPal transaction fees and international bank wires to our partners. A detailed example of how where your money goes, when it goes there, and how much of it goes to projects can be seen in the section “A Detailed Example” above.

Tonnes not yet paid for/retired by COTAP

For updates and explanations of disbursal timings during a specific timeframe, please see our blog’s transparency section.

About Vintages

The “vintage” year refers to projected tonnes of sequestration expected to result from the projects’ plantings during that year. For example, if your offset was matched with a project’s 2013 vintage credits this means that your carbon will be sequestered over time by trees planted during the project’s 2013 planting season.

COTAP was originally conceived solely as a mechanism for providing upfront funding for our projects’ upcoming planting seasons. Projects’ abilities to scale is limited by upfront orders because project developers seek to avoid promising carbon payments to farmers which they later won’t have the money for. For example, with our first project in COTAP pooled offset transactions from Cotappers starting in late 2011 for the Nicaragua project, whose 2012 seedling development process began in January 2012.

We later discovered that projects often have leftover vintages for various reasons like the project’s other buyers backing out, the project planting more trees than originally planned, or the project simply being unsuccessful in securing buyers for all of their credits. We realized it did not make sense for COTAP to not support unsold prior-year vintages when the carbon sequestration and benefit to farmers is just as real as the current-year vintage.

Accordingly, we expanded our definition of resolving the forestry carbon finance gap to include supporting unsold vintages. In our view, unsold Plan Vivo credits are a societal injustice just the same as the fact that these projects’ credits aren’t pre-sold in larger quantities and at earlier stages. COTAP is thus “vintage agnostic,” so as to pursue all our projects’ funding opportunities and thereby fulfill our mission to the fullest possible extent. As COTAP scales, the issue of older vintages will become a moot point because the quantity of such vintages is finite we will have bought them all!

Summary and feedback form

As you can see, there’s a LOT going on under the hood of COTAP! Please send us your thoughts and feedback below!