San Francisco, CA

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2021):

Revenue: $3,939,262
Expenses: $1,663,242
Assets: $3,972,137


Environmental Analytics Organization



Executive Director:

Jeremy Freeman

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CarbonPlan is a nonprofit that uses computational analysis to study the efficaciousness of carbon capture companies and schemes. The group is a public benefit corporation registered in California that is also recognized as tax-exempt by the federal government. 1 Its funding comes almost entirely from philanthropic donations.

CarbonPlan is a member of 1% for the Planet, an environmentalist coalition. 2


In September 2023, CarbonPlan unveiled a temperature model that uses numerous preexisting models to estimate how many days geographic regions will experience temperatures over 32℃ (89.6℉) in future decades. 3

In September 2022, CarbonPlan released an interactive tool for understanding Verification Confidence Levels (VCLs) for carbon dioxide removal. The tool evaluates the efficiency of methods for removing carbon dioxide from the environment. 4

In April 2022, CarbonPlan published a critique of efforts to reduce carbon using blockchain technology. They found that the Toucan Protocol Bridge, the largest blockchain-based effort, mostly recycled low-value existing carbon credits that could not find buyers. 5

In January 2022, CarbonPlan published a critique of NCX’s ton-year accounting, a group of accounting standards that calculates value comparisons between stored carbon and non-produced carbon. CaronPlan was unable to replicate NCX’s accounting results and determined that their marketing contradicted their actual accounting. 6

In July 2021, CarbonPlan published “A buyer’s guide to soil carbon offsets,” which ranked 14 companies, including the Gold Standard Foundation. In response, Gold Standard Foundation chief technical officer Owen Hewlett wrote a critique of CarbonPlan’s article, claiming that it blatantly misrepresented his Foundation’s process. CarbonPlan responded with a defense of its article, stating, “we have also confirmed with Gold Standard that Mr. Hewlett incorrectly described the requirements of his organization’s own protocol.” 7 8 9

In April 2021, ProPublica published an article highlighting CarbonPlan’s findings that a carbon offset program run by California’s Air Resources Board valued at $2 billion over-credited carbon offsets by 27 percent. These “ghost credits” permitted the production of the equivalent of the annual carbon emissions of 8.5 million cars. 10

Also in August 2021, the New York Times cited CarbonPlan’s findings that 153,000 acres of California forest planted as part of the carbon-offset scheme had burned down in wildfires that summer. 11


In 2022, CarbonPlan earned $2,509,936 in revenue, with the vast majority coming from donations. 12 CarbonPlan donors have included the Teach a Man to Fish Foundation, the Eutopia Foundation, the Zegar Family Fund, the Sergey Brin Family Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, New Climate Ventures, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the Climate Cousins Foundation, the Vanguard Charitable Endowment Program, the Benificus Foundation, the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation, the Linden Trust for Conservation, the Climateworks Foundation, NASA, Microsoft, Stripe, and Columbia University. 13

In April 2021, CarbonPlan received $200,000 from the FTX Foundation, the charitable nonprofit of FTX, the now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange run by Sam Bankman-Fried. When asked about the donation after FTX’s collapse, CarbonPlan executive director Jeremy Freeman said the funds were wired to CarbonPlan “unilaterally” without any solicitation. Freeman ultimately decided not to return the money to FTX and promised to use the funds to continue research into the use of blockchain technology in carbon capture. 14


Jeremy Freeman is the co-founder and executive director of CarbonPlan. From 2016 to 2019, Freeman worked at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative where he oversaw the formation and growth of the computational biology program. Earlier, Freeman managed a team of scientists at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute that developed computational methods for understanding neural anatomy. 15

Joe Hamman is the co-founder and former technology director of CarbonPlan. Hamman left the organization in August 2022 to become the chief technology officer at Earthmover, a cloud data platform. 16

Danny Cullenward is the former policy director at CarbonPlan. Cullenward is a senior fellow at the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, a research fellow at the Institute for Carbon Removal Law and Policy at American University, and the vice chair of California’s Independent Emissions Market Advisory Committee. 17 18

Maggie Koerth (formerly known as Maggie Koerth-Baker) is the editorial lead of CarbonPlan. Koerth is a technology journalist who has been writing for FiveThirtyEight since 2016. 19 20


  1. “FAQ.” CarbonPlan. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  2. “Funding.” CarbonPlan. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  3. “Modelling extreme heat in a challenging climate model.” CarbonPlan. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  4. “CDR Verification Framework.” CarbonPlan. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  5. “Zombies on the blockchain.” CarbonPlan. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  6. Cullenward, Danny. “A critique of NCX’s carbon accounting methods.” CarbonPlan. January 31, 2022. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  7. “A buyer’s guide to soil carbon offsets.” CarbonPlan. July 15, 2021. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  8. “Owen Hewlett.” LinkedIn. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  9. “Response to Gold Standard.” Carbon Plan. August 4, 2021. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  10. Song, Lisa; ProPublica; Temple, James; MIT Technology Review. “The Climate Solution Actually Adding Millions of Tons of CO2 Into the Atmosphere.” ProPublica. April 29, 2021. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  11. Choi-Schagrin, Winston. “Wildfires are ravaging forests set aside to soak up greenhouse gases.” The New York Times. August 23, 2021. Updated August 24, 2021. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  12. “CarbonPlan Form 990.” ProPublica. Accessed September 19, 2023.
  13. “Funding.” CarbonPlan. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  14. Hyatt, John. “This Climate Change Nonprofit Didn’t Ask for FTX’s Money – But Got $200,000 Anyway.” Forbes. November 22, 2022. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  15. “Jeremy Freeman.” LinkedIn. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  16. “Joe Hamman.” LinkedIn. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  17. “Danny Cullenward.” GHG Policy. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  18. “Episode 139: Jeremy Freeman and Danny Cullenward, CarbonPlan.” MCJ Collective. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  19. “Maggie Koerth.” FiveThirtyEight. Accessed October 19, 2023.
  20. “Team.” CarbonPlan. Accessed October 19, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: August 1, 2020

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Dec Form 990 $3,939,262 $1,663,242 $3,972,137 $48,506 N $3,924,050 $15,000 $47 $169,237
    2020 Dec Form 990 $2,185,020 $537,409 $1,690,597 $42,986 N $2,030,020 $155,000 $0 $100,198


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