Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Tambor Lyngdoh discusses the Khasi Hills Community REDD+ Project

December 26th, 2022

Offset your CO2 emissions through this project here:


Bah (Sir in the Khasi language) Tambor Lyngdoh recorded this presentation for Day 2 of the Plan Vivo Foundation and Carbon Standard’s Stakeholder Meeting on September 28, 2022. It was part of a panel titled “How do we strengthen our regional presence/ What are the opportunities for Plan Vivo in each region?”

Tambor is Secretary of the Synjuk or Federation which governs the exemplary Khasi Hills Community REDD+ Project. The full name of the Synjuk is Ka Synjuk Ki Hima Arliang Wah-Umiam Mawphlang Welfare Society (KSKHAW-UMWS) and their tagline in Khasi is “Ia La Ka Mei Mariang Ngin Sumar Kylliang” which means “It is our part, to take care of our Mother Nature.”

Tambor gives an overview of the project, which just celebrated its 10th anniversary as the first such project in India and one of few worldwide that is owned and operated by local indigenous communities.

Topics include the project’s achievements and its historical, cultural, and conservation contexts as well as project governance structure and strategies which strengthen and diversify community income streams and food security.

Further, Tambor covers strategies for household fuel alternatives to firewood and charcoal, such as electric rice cookers and LPG (liquid propane gas) stoves, which reduce pressure on the forests. The project has supplied approximately 1,000 rice cookers and 4,500 LPG stoves to the communities.

Tambor also discusses progress in addressing project challenges such as drought, fire, charcoal demand, and ensuring continued implementation and progress across a project area spanning 90.7 square miles and over 7,400 households.

Please consider offsetting your unavoidable CO2 emissions through this project at $15/tonne, the project receives 90% of funds and shares 60%+ with participating communities, and it’s tax-deductible in the U.S.

Alternatives to donating on

December 22nd, 2022


In August our website was hacked, resulting in warnings to potential visitors that the site is unsafe. The site was deep-cleaned and a preventative security service called Wordfence was installed to block attacks and visits from “bad actor” IP addresses in real time. Although the site is now cleaned and secure, some of the website security rating services (namely Mimecast and McAfee) have not reviewed and updated our status, and those services have poor or non-existent mechanisms for submitting our website for review and removal from their blacklists. This has resulted in lingering and sporadic security warnings that raise valid concerns.

Alternative ways to offset/donate to COTAP

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Press Release: COTAP Becomes the First Carbon Offset Provider to Enable Funding Offsets with Cryptocurrency

June 4th, 2021

The below press release can be found on PR Newswire here and our cryptocurrency donation page is Go here to learn about our rationale for accepting cryptocurrency.

WALNUT CREEK, Calif., June 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The global non-profit Carbon Offsets to Alleviate Poverty ( announced it has become the first carbon offset provider to accept all major cryptocurrencies. It joins over 200 other nonprofits which have partnered with The Giving Block to enable cryptocurrency donations, and to ensure that they are tax-compliant, secure, and automatically converted into cash. COTAP can now use cryptocurrency donations to support its high-quality, verified carbon offset programs in six low-income countries, creating a unique way to mitigate carbon emissions while generating life-changing income for some of the world’s poorest communities.

“This is a significant first on several levels,” said COTAP founder and CEO Tim Whitley. “The voluntary carbon offset market is exploding, with demand at an all-time high, and so is the market and demand for cryptocurrency. But there are still barriers to entry for companies and people who want to offset their carbon emissions, so we’re working to bring them down however we can, including by being the first to take cryptocurrency donations to support offset projects. At the same time, cryptocurrency, and Bitcoin in particular, has a huge carbon footprint. That’s a serious problem. By making it possible for the first time to use cryptocurrency to help support to high-quality offsets that lower emissions and fight poverty, we hope to help mitigate it.”

“Crypto is going to continue to grow explosively, so if we want to reduce its climate impact, we’re going to need a way to decarbonize it,” Whitley said. “Switching it to sustainable energy sources would be great, but will take time. Meanwhile, if you want to address the carbon footprint of the cryptocurrency you’re holding, or you want to use it to offset the carbon emissions of other activities, you now have that option. By donating just a fraction of one crypto coin, a donor can potentially counteract that coin’s emissions many times over.”

Cryptocurrencies are surprisingly carbon-intensive. Because it depends on high-powered, energy-guzzling computers, Bitcoin for example uses the same amount of energy as small countries like the Netherlands, generating an estimated 22-23 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year. That’s the reason for the market-moving controversy about whether Elon Musk would or wouldn’t accept Bitcoin as payment for Tesla electric cars, at least until Bitcoin “mining” transitions to sustainable energy sources. At the same time, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency usage and acceptance are expanding across many industries.

Companies of any size, and individuals anywhere in the world, can work with COTAP to offset as little as 1 metric tonne of carbon emissions. In the U.S., individuals don’t pay capital gains tax on cryptocurrency used to make COTAP offsetting donations, and depending on their income level and whether or not they itemize, they may also get an income tax deduction.

COTAP’s carbon offset projects counteract carbon emissions through nature-based solutions including tree planting, agroforestry and forest protection. They are all located in areas where income levels are less than $2 per day, and are certified under Plan Vivo, the world’s longest-standing voluntary standard for forest carbon. Plan Vivo stipulates not only that rural communities must actually own their carbon offset projects, but also that they must receive at least 60% of the carbon revenues.

Donations to COTAP are used to fund these high-quality, verified carbon offset projects. 90% of net proceeds from carbon offsetting donations it receives goes to COTAP’s six Plan Vivo-certified projects in Nicaragua, Uganda, India, Fiji, Indonesia, and Mexico. Those projects in turn share 60% or more of the revenues with participating low-income communities. For example, a $5000 offsetting donation made out to “All Projects” would pay each of COTAP’s six projects $750 for 55.56 metric tonnes’ worth of their carbon credits, and generate a total of at least $2,700 in income for poor communities.

Contact:  Stephen Kent, 914-589-5988

New Project Videos from India’s East Khasi Hills

March 28th, 2015

COTAP partner Community Forestry International recently released several new videos about the Khasi Hills Community Carbon Project. Here they are!

When the Forest is Home (2015)

This 25-minute film documents the story of India’s first internationally certified community forest project to receive funds from sales of carbon offset credits under the United Nations REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) program. It tells the story of the charismatic former youth leader of the indigenous Khasi who helped unite ten kingdoms into a Federation to protect and restore the forests of the Khasi Hills in Meghalaya. This project demonstrates the success of community management and innovation in helping to conserve India’s environment in the Northeast, while improving local livelihoods.

Restoring India’s Cloud Forests (2014)

This 4-minute film highlights the efforts of the indigenous Khasi who are enabling thousands of people to engage with forest protection in north east India. They are also enabling businesses to balance their carbon footprint, work with communities close to the forests, and help protect forest ecosystems.It is a Plan Vivo project that reduces carbon emissions from deforestation, protects forest ecosystems and helps to create income for rural families.

Trekking through History (2015)

This 4-minute film highlights the community restoration of a 16 km segment of the David Scott Trail, an historic horse-cart route constructed by the British in the 19th century to connect the modern states of Assam, Meghalaya, and Bangladesh. The trail is an eco-adventure meandering up and down through forests, across arched stone bridges, and sparkling vistas.

Our Take on The California “Hidden Gas Tax” Ads

October 29th, 2014

Note: This an October 2014 blog post about an oil industry PR campaign against the implementation of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard, part of California’s global warming legislation. This article is NOT about the April 2017 California transportation funding bill which entails an actual CA gas tax increase!

Here’s who’s behind the “Hidden Gas Tax” ads you may have seen in California, and how they’re misleading. We also explain the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that they’re attacking and how it fits into California’s Cap and Trade law (AB32). Last, we explain how, as with the California Climate Credit, it’s smart policy designed to drive down Californians’ CO2 footprint from driving. That said, if your car burns gasoline, LCFS won’t significantly reduce your CO2 footprint from driving anytime soon, but you can still reduce your gasoline use and offset the CO2 from driving that you can’t avoid.

Who’s Behind The “Hidden Gas Tax” Ads

The ads are the work of the California Drivers Alliance, a group created by Wayne Johnson Agency. They’re a Sacramento public affairs firm hired by the Western States Petroleum Association (WSPA), which includes major petroleum producers like Chevron, Exxon, BP, and Shell. The campaign is similar to that of the California Independent Oil Marketers Association’s (CIOMA) Fed Up At The Pump. This is the latest of many efforts against AB32, as outlined by the NRDC here.

LCFS Should Really Be Called “Fuel Savings In Plain Sight”

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) openly shared its 2010 analysis of a projected 4 to 19% fuel price increase by 2020 as a result of the LCFS (explained below). A CARB spokesman recently said the range is actually outdated and that “we don’t believe there will be any discernible increase in pricing next year.” Further, the same 2010 CARB analysis estimated that CA’s annual per capita fuels expenditure will drop by over $400 by 2020 because of increased car efficiency.

What The “Hidden Gas Tax Ads” Hide

The ads exclude both the revised estimate of no gas price increases and the projected $400/year savings. They don’t mention gas prices are nosediving to below $3 per gallon for the first time in 4 years as refineries are making solid progress reducing their GHG emissions, demonstrating that the latter doesn’t cause the former. What’s also hidden is how much the California Drivers Alliance receives from from WSPA and what CMIOMA is spending on the Fed Up At The Pump campaign.

Why Oil Companies Understandably Hate The LCFS

Government incentives and manufacturing advances have made alternative fuel vehicles accessibly-priced before the LCFS even goes into effect. Case in point is the Nissan Leaf. My sister-in-law leased a Leaf. Over $10K in federal and state rebates significantly reduced the $28K MSRP and canceled out the $2.5K downpayment. The $220 lease payment, less than what she was spending monthly on gas, is canceled out by free charging at work and from Nissan. The car is not free, but switching to it, and taking gasoline out of the picture altogether, is.

The Bigger Picture

As with hybrids, electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars will proliferate and come down in price. Receding demand will create downward price pressure on petroleum-based fuels. That in turn benefits users of light trucks, delivery vehicles, and construction equipment – those for whom alternative fuels are not an option. That’s a virtuous cycle for everyone, even for those who continue to burn gasoline and diesel. Everyone except oil companies. The permanent contraction in price and volume means goodbye to an extremely profitable status quo.

The LCFS is not going to trigger this dynamic or push it past a tipping point, which has already happened. As mentioned, gas prices are going down, refineries are cleaning up, and people are buying alternative fuel vehicles before LCFS goes into effect. LCFS is going to accelerate this, and that’s why oil companies understandably hate it. And the stakes are much higher when one considers “As California Goes, So Goes The Nation.”

So What Should Oil Companies Do Instead, Then?

One way CA refineries can meet their targets is to clean up their processes by installing equipment like flue gas scrubbers. And technologies exist which create gasoline, diesel, and other fuels from non-fossil sources (like agricultural waste); burning a gallon of non-fossil gasoline does not count in the eyes of LCFS.

Right now, it’s more profitable road for oil companies to fight policies like LCFS than invest considerably more money in adaptation. The argument that it’s oil executives’ fiduciary duty to forestall adapting as long as possible in the name of maximum profits is flawed, obviously from a stakeholder standpoint but also even from a shareholder one. How they’ll do it is unclear, but if the old dog doesn’t itself some new tricks, that’ll hurt shareholder value too because they’ll become a lot more obsolete than if they had adapted.

More About The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS)

Transportation causes about 40% of California’s greenhouse gas emissions because we rely on petroleum based fuels for 97% of our transportation needs. The LCFS, which goes along with the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (also known as AB32), is set to go in effect on January 1, 2015. The LCFS addresses the carbon dioxide emissions associated with the production, refining, distribution, and consumption of transportation fuels. It seeks to cut those emissions 10% by 2020.

Though it’s designed to be agnostic about fuel type, LCFS heavily disfavors petroleum-based fuels not only because their extraction, refinement, and distribution produces lots of CO2, but also because 19.4 pounds of CO2 are released when each gallon of gasoline is burned. Here’s a brief ARB video about the LCFS:

COTAP and Carbon Offsetting in The Context of LCFS

As mentioned above, LCFS is designed to address the lifecycle CO2 emissions from extracting, refining, distributing, and burning any transportation fuel. For a gallon of gas, that includes the 19.4 pounds of CO2 that are released when you buy and burn it. The LCFS goal is a modest 10% reduction in carbon intensity by 2020, and if they hit that goal it means you would only need to offset 90% of the gasoline you buy and burn. But right now the carbon intensity requirement is capped at 1% due to lawsuits (guess who?). So right now, despite LCFS passing, you’re still creating 99% of the same gasoline carbon pollution as you did before LCFS.

Our Favorite Hidden Gas Tax Ad…

We especially love this one with the little girl in the back seat, complaining about the cost of gas while riding around town only with her Dad… in a minivan… that seats seven. “I guess I can kiss my grape slushie goodby,” she laments. Decrease your car-to-people ratio, young lady, and you can have all the slushies you want!