A person close to me is intending to donate a bunch of money to atmosfair, which is a german environmental charity. I pointed out that this might be suboptimal and so she instructed me to find out what a better option would be.
Is there anything like a consensus on what the most effective environmental charities are that someone can briefly point to? Alternatively, feel free to just give me your own opinion.
The goal as I understand it is pretty much just to reduce CO2 emissions. (The charity does this thing where you donate a particular amount to offset the CO2 that got into the atmosphere because of a flight you’ve taken.)
Recent EA thinking on this is probably mostly:
https://founderspledge.com/stories/climate-change-executive-summary ”the giving recommendations based on this research are The Coalition for Rainforest Nations and Clean Air Task Force”
https://lets-fund.org/clean-energy/ who “are crowdfunding for the Clean Energy Innovation program at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation”.
Both are claiming to have done a lot of research, but I don’t think either Founders’ Pledge or Let’s Fund have a GiveWell-like track record and I’m slightly nervous that we’re repeating the mistake we (as a community) made when we recommended Cool Earth based on Giving What We Can’s relatively cursory investigation into it, and then an only somewhat less cursory investigation suggested it wasn’t much use.
I’ve read both of the reports Ben listed and think their recommendations have both strengths and weaknesses. I’m currently very uncertain about the best options for donating toward reducing CO2.
Your friend’s chosen charity seems to do sensible things to reduce CO2 in a transparent way on a reasonable small budget. Seeing as our community is still very uncertain about what’s ‘optimal’ in this space, I wouldn’t push EA recommendations too hard.