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Local Carbon Offset Programs

Posted by Kejsi Ago on November 30, 2021

From: Ricci, Marcus <>
Sent: Tuesday, November 30, 2021 1:32 PM
To: icap-resilience at
Subject: RE: [icap-resilience] Revolving Loan Fund example for evaluation


*** Email From An External Source ***

Today’s Lunchtime Stroll Through the Internet: “Local Carbon Offset Programs.”


I hit on “The Offset Project” which started off in 2010 as a not-for-profit program in Monterey Bay, to fund sustainability programs that reduce carbon emissions:


They eventually morphed into a for-profit group that helps/services others to do the same: One of their clients was UC Santa Cruz and the City of Watsonville, the latter of which instituted a Carbon Fund Ordinance which “establishes a Carbon Fee to be charged to all development projects except single family residential alterations, temporary buildings, and/or building area that is not used as conditioned space. The goal of the Carbon Fund Ordinance is to encourage the implementation of renewable energy in development projects. The money collected from the Carbon Fund Fee are placed in a separate account to be used for citywide greenhouse gas reduction projects.”


So, if we (someone) wanted to pick their brains (for free) Kristin from Blue Strike Environmental would be willing to chat with us, and provide the Power Point presentations they used at City of Watsonville.


The UC Santa Cruz Carbon Fund sounds similar to UIUC’s sustainability funds, so it could be used, in general, to pay for offsetting carbon:


By the way, I *really* dislike the use of the word “offset.” I feel that an offset is when you are paying for emitting something, when what we are trying to do (I think?) is actually *reduce* carbon emissions.

                Merriam-Webster: : to cancel or reduce the effect of (something) : to create an equal balance between two things


Are we trying to reduce the emissions themselves? Or allowing all of the emissions and just fixing their effects?


Be safe, stay healthy,



Marcus Ricci, AICP
Planner II

Community Services Department | City of Urbana
400 S Vine St | Urbana, Illinois 61801



Scott Tess shared these resources for local projects: