Carbon Credit Stocks vs Carbon Capture Stocks (Don’t Fall for It)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Carbon Offsets Credits | December 12, 2023

Woman excited by carbon credit stock price chart behind her showing carbon credit price predictions rising and money floating around her.

Carbon credit stocks were developed to allow businesses to buy and sell emission permits in an effort to lower global warming gas emissions.

But many people wonder, what’s the difference between carbon credit stocks and carbon capture stocks? And, what’s the risk? Is it a trick?

Carbon credits are issued to businesses in a fixed quantity that gradually decrease over time. If there is any surplus, they may sell it to another business. But, are these tradable assets actually helping? And what does carbon capture actually do?

As governments worldwide recognize the gravity of the climate change challenge, carbon credit stocks have emerged as a promising new asset class for investors.

However, there’s major difference between ‘carbon credits’ and buying stocks that use the term ‘carbon capture.’

This guide explains it.

Carbon Credits Stocks (Carbon Credit Stock) vs. Carbon Capture

Carbon credits can be considered like permission slips to release carbon dioxide and other gases. One credit is equivalent to one metric ton of carbon dioxide emissions. This volume is variable; different credits may be used for various quantities or kinds of gas.

However, unless otherwise noted, the benchmark is one metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent per credit.

Underground coal mine showing coal, wires, and track for transporting mined coal.

(Image: hangela6)

Coal mines and power stations, two major emissions producers, must purchase licenses to release pollutants from this market. If a company emits less than its allotted quantity, it may sell the unused permits on the open market.

A carbon credit stock is supposed to be a way to track and control an economy’s total output of greenhouse emissions.2 Let’s pretend a business owns a plant and a fleet of delivery vehicles. The total annual carbon dioxide emissions from all its vehicles are 11 tons, with 10 tons coming from the plant itself and 1 ton from all its trucks. To offset these emissions, the corporation must either purchase 11 carbon credits a year or significantly cut its use of fossil fuels.

On the other hand, one technology that has the potential to actually remove carbon dioxide emissions from the environment quickly is carbon capture. Because of the continuing importance of coal-fired power plants, carbon capture stocks have become more important.

Carbon credits are meant to quantify and limit an economy’s annual emissions of greenhouse gases. Consider a hypothetical organization that operates a manufacturing facility and a fleet of delivery vehicles. Each year, the company’s manufacturing releases 10 tons of carbon dioxide, and its fleet of vehicles releases 1 ton. Either 11 annual carbon credits would be required to offset these emissions, or the corporation would need to lower its use of fossil fuels.

Carbon credit companies’ stock may be either voluntary or mandated by a government agency. They are used by businesses to keep tabs on their greenhouse gas output in a voluntarily administered system. The most prevalent kind of this system is called an “offset.”

It involves the creation of carbon credits through greenhouse gas reduction initiatives, including tree planting and the deployment of carbon capture technologies, such as the development of biochar.

One credit will be generated for replenishing atmospheric gas levels for every unit of gas extracted. While some businesses may handle this system internally, outside groups manage most offset programs, and carbon credits are sold to participating businesses. A voluntary system is completely self-governing and has no mechanism for enforcing compliance with rules.

A regulated system is one in which the government issues carbon credits. A governing authority will limit the annual quantity of carbon dioxide a company or economy may emit and will then provide credits to that effect.

These credits are fungible across businesses and may be bought, sold, and traded. Cap and trade are a system wherein the government sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions while allowing businesses to buy and sell carbon emission credits to decide the best use. Credits do not expire once they are awarded.

Who Sells Carbon Credits?

It would be best if you did not consider this a financial opportunity. In principle, carbon credit stocks might be available for purchase by private investors in a cap-and-trade system’s centralized marketplace. The European Union (EU) operates the only comprehensive cap-and-trade system when writing. Private investors are not permitted to buy credits inside this framework.

Close up photo of a corner of a paper bill that shows twelve small yellow stars in circular formation inside a blue rectangle.

(Image: Karolina Grabowska5)

However, there are several businesses from whom you may buy carbon offsets.1

Airline companies, for instance, mostly provide customers with carbon offset options. They are often purchased per-mile basis under this scheme, with the corporation taking action to counteract the emissions caused by each mile driven.

For example, if you are buying 100 miles of offsets, the corporation will take measures to reduce carbon emissions equivalent to those caused by your aircraft covering 100 kilometers.

This is not a system in which businesses keep offset credits on hand, resell credits, or provide you with any other kind of tradable item in return for your cash. While this is a great method of giving back, it does not provide any financial benefits.

Carbon Credit Investment Funds

Corporations may reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing carbon credits from other businesses or donating to environmental initiatives. It’s accomplished through an exchange known as carbon finance, which consists of a yearly payment to a project partner (whether public, private, NGO or any other organization) in return for the emission reductions created by the project.

Plans are more likely to be completed thanks to carbon finance, which generates new income and facilitates the efficient transfer of relevant technology and expertise.

How To Invest in Carbon Credits (Carbon Credit Stocks)

One major drawback of carbon credit investing, at least for U.S.-based green investors, is the lack of legal recognition for such investments.

Carbon credit systems, such as the “cap-and-trade” model detailed further down, are perfect. Carbon credits,4 which stand in for the emissions of whole industries or the whole economy, may be freely traded here in an open market by businesses and people.

Although California and certain Northeastern states have implemented limited credit schemes for their electricity grids, the federal government has not implemented a carbon credit system like this one.

The European Union Emissions Trading System is responsible for enforcing carbon credit regulations throughout the region. However, the market for them is regulated and operated by auctions run by the government.

Therefore, there are not many viable carbon credit investment options. This system is now more of an idea than a working model. However, a few angles from which perspective investors might approach the situation.

Companies Investing in Carbon Credits (Carbon Credit Companies Stock)

Carbon credit stocks may help mitigate the negative effects of greenhouse gas emissions that can’t be avoided. This makes them an attractive option for businesses of all sizes working toward net zero and carbon neutral goals.

Carbon credits contribute to GHG reduction initiatives outside the company’s value chain, in contrast to carbon reduction methods, which try to decrease emissions on the inside.

Cartoon image that shows the results of Carbon Sequestration Options such as Terrestrial and Power Station with CO2 Capture during geologic disposal which are enhanced recovery, unmineable coal beds, depleted oil or gas reserve, deep saline formation, and chemical conversion.

It may help a company reach its climate goals by reducing its present emissions. Using carbon offsets may be the only option to mitigate the adverse environmental effects of shipping and air freight operations, for which there are no viable low-carbon alternatives. These are just some reasons businesses across sectors have begun investing in carbon offsets. Companies that have invested in carbon credits include:1


Microsoft is now considered carbon neutral since the company has invested in reducing emissions rather than removing carbon that has already been released into the atmosphere. However, the IT giant is taking things farther by committing to eradicating all of the carbon it has produced since its inception in


Honeywell has committed to eliminating all carbon emissions from its activities and facilities by 2035. The global industrial corporation wants to employ reliable carbon offsets to compensate for residual CO2 emissions after investing in energy efficiency initiatives, shifting to renewable sources, and electrifying fleets.


There has been an internal carbon price in place in the happiest place on earth since 2009. The proceeds from the carbon tax are put into a fund called Climate Solutions, which is used to finance efficiency initiatives and offset carbon emissions.According to the company, carbon credits funded by Disney have eliminated emissions equal to taking 900,000 automobiles off the road.


In terms of corporate responsibility to the environment, Unilever is in the front. Along with Disney, Google, Microsoft, Salesforce, and other companies, the consumer products giant helped form the Business Alliance for Scaling Climate Solutions in 2021. The group’s efforts will be directed toward enhancing climate-related solutions. They focus on verifying that businesses’ claimed carbon offsets correspond to additional, actual, quantified, and verifiable emissions reductions or removals.


Companies in the oil and gas industry, such as Shell that use carbon credits to offset emissions from their operations, are always looking for strategies to protect themselves against rising prices.

One option is purchasing whole carbon projects or the firms responsible for their creation. This guarantees that credits will be accessible for internal usage and resale to other businesses at any time.

General Motors

By 2040, the biggest carmaker in the United States expects its worldwide operations and goods to have zero net carbon emissions. The company plans to achieve its objectives by discontinuing the production of all diesel and gas-powered vehicles and offering only electric vehicles. Another source of savings will come from making the transition to renewable energy. Emissions that cannot be eliminated will be compensated for via the purchase of carbon offsets, with the caution that “offsets must be utilized sparingly and should represent a holistic vision of reducing the consequences of climate change,” as stated by the corporation.

Are Carbon Credits a Good Investment?

Yes, carbon credits are a good investment, but not as effective for helping the planet as carbon removal stocks. Like many individuals, companies also want to constructively make a difference in the world. Moreover, the vast majority would prefer if this were simple.

Buying carbon to back climate protection efforts is an excellent long-term investment. In essence, purchasing carbon credits is like making a financial bet on the success of the low-carbon economy.

By investing in carbon credits,3 you can do your part to lower global warming pollution and ensure a habitable Earth for future generations. But essential is the fact that you help disadvantaged communities all over the globe in ways that may change people’s lives.

Dense forest on a mountain with the sky in the background.

(Image: sarangib7)

These include empowering women and girls, creating new local employment, improving health, increasing food yields, and safeguarding biodiversity.

Best Carbon Credit ETF

The KraneShares Global Carbon Strategy ETF (KRBN), now the most valuable carbon ETF in net assets, has a diversified portfolio of carbon allowance futures contracts from all main compliance markets.

KRBN gives investors wider access to the performance of carbon credit compliance markets, despite its assets being more heavily concentrated in European EUAs than in other carbon credit compliance markets.

Currently, this is among the most effective carbon market investment methods. It is available to individual investors, businesses, banks, and other financial organizations. KRBN makes it possible for the average investor to add awareness to costs to their investment without the need to buy futures, which are difficult to understand and carry a high level of investment risk.

To reflect the pricing performance of European and Californian carbon credits, investors who owned KRBN at the beginning of 2021 would have seen their investment more than double by the end of the year. If you expect carbon allowance prices to remain robust in 2022, then KRBN is a stock you should keep an eye on.

Carbon Royalty Corp Stock

Big corporations sometimes use complicated mechanisms to raise capital, such as loans from many banks or stock sales. Royalties are another common method of funding for mining enterprises. It is common practice for a royalty company to contribute to financing a mining project in exchange for royalties on, or a percentage of, the materials extracted from the mine.

Alternatively, the royalty company may be granted the right to a stream of the mine’s output or a predetermined quantity of the materials extracted from the mine.

Carbon Credit Price Forecast

The value of the advantages associated with purchasing carbon credits )aka the carbon credit price prediction) with co-benefits will vary depending on the customers.

By 2035, the price of credits may reach as high as US$80-$150 per ton. Today, the price per ton is about $25.

Carbon Credits Price Chart

Carbon credit stocks may be valued in many ways, including market dynamics, the project’s implementation cost, or the value it creates. The scope, scale, and location of a project are all variables that might affect its cost. The World Bank, which publishes an annual analysis of the value of carbon credit stocks on the market, has observed the following;

  • Carbon credit prices often fall short of the $40-$80 per metric ton of carbon dioxide released by the Paris accord to prevent global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.
  • To meet global emission objectives, prices must rise.
  • But it’s worth noting that several places waited to publish price hikes because of the current epidemic. Once all countries provide their data, the estimates might alter.

Understanding the difference between carbon credit stocks and carbon capture stocks can help you make decisions about bot only investment strategies, but also the steps you can take to reduce emissions right now.

Information is not intended as actual financial advice but for entertainment purposes only. All investment strategies and investments involve risk of loss. Nothing contained in this website should be construed as investment advice.


1British Consulate General Houston. (2022, July 11). BCarbon Issues First International Soil Carbon Credits in United Kingdom. Retrieved August 8, 2022, from <>

2The Clean Energy Regulator. (2021, December 8). About Carbon Markets. Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator. Retrieved August 8, 2022, from <>

3The Clean Energy Regulator. (2022). How you can benefit. Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator. Retrieved August 8, 2022, from <>

4The Clean Energy Regulator. (2022). Purchasing carbon credits with co-benefits. Australian Government Clean Energy Regulator. Retrieved August 8, 2022, from <>

5Photo by Karolina Grabowska. Pexels. Retrieved from <>

6Photo by hangela. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

7Photo by sarangib. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>