Comparison of carbon credits: CER, VER & TER

If you want to buy a car, you can take a loan. A mortgage will allow you to buy your dream house, and with a student loan, you can finance your college tuition. So it's not surprising that you might associate a “carbon credit” with extra money to buy coal. In reality, it’s something completely different! Find out how carbon credits can help reduce CO2 emissions.

4 min read


Ksenia Pisera, Jordan Flagel

Team TerGo devoted to saving the planet

Carbon offsets, if properly verified and used in tandem with reducing emissions at the source, are a crucial part of the path towards a carbon neutral future

Carbon credits are tradable proof of reducing or removing a specific amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. They are issued in a form of certificates by various offset projects, which are aiming at reducing CO2 from the atmosphere. Such programs may engage in afforestation, renewable energy, or improving biodiversity (among others). We can call them a kind of carbon credit bank.

1 carbon credit equals 1 tonne of CO2 saved.

Carbon credits can thus have the role of permitting a specific GHG emission by, say, a company or an entire country. Carbon credits not used by one company can also be sold to another company or a different entity. This way, the cost of greenhouse gas emissions is added to the cost of producing goods or providing services.

Carbon credits are used to offset GHG emissions. Buying carbon credits and retiring them allows you to zero out emissions that you couldn’t reduce. It’s a solution available to governments, companies, and individuals alike.

– “Carbon offsets, if properly verified and used in tandem with reducing emissions at the source, are a crucial part of the path towards a carbon neutral future,” says Jordan Flagel, TerGo’s Head Environmental Specialist.

There are two types of carbon credits that are commonly used:

Certified Emission Reductions (CER)

These credits were ratified in the Kyoto Protocol. Provisions for facilitating CO2 emission allowance markets were established under the Paris Agreement. Offsetting emissions from CER projects can therefore be counted towards meeting the targets set out in these documents. Ultimately, this is expected to make high-carbon activities more expensive than if they used clean alternatives.

Voluntary Emission Reductions (VER)

Allow people to voluntarily offset their emissions. This type of carbon credit can be created under the same standards as CERs. VERs are independent of government commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. They reflect people’s social responsibility.

TerGo, on the other hand, revolutionizes the way we think about carbon credits and offset projects. It makes reducing emissions and offsetting them easy!

True Emission Reduction (TER) – TerGo’s new carbon credit

Created through the green actions of the TerGo app users. The calculation and creation of TERs comply with ISO 14064-2 greenhouse gas emissions verification standards, the GHG Protocol, ISO 14040-12067:2018, and PAS 2050 standards. TERs can be used to voluntarily offset the emissions of companies and individuals.

What distinguishes TERs from other carbon credits is that they result from actions that reduce emissions here and now – not in the future, as in the case of afforestation. TERs are created by app users the moment they decide to buy or use low-carbon products and services. Each eco-choice entered into the app is converted into the amount of CO2 emissions reduced and their value in TERs. The less CO2 emitted, the more TERs on the user’s account.

What’s more, TerGo app users can sell their TERs to companies that are interested in offsetting their emissions. They can also be used to support TerGo’s offset projects. 1,000 TERs equals one tonne of CO2 saved, and their value is linked to the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS), which can be checked online. The funds from the sale of TERs can be transferred directly into our user’s bank account.

TerGo supports users in shaping their eco-habits. It helps to understand where greenhouse gases come from and why it is so important to reduce them every day. It gives you a sense of empowerment because it makes you aware that each of us has an impact on climate and environmental protection.

Become a net-zero hero with TerGo! Join our green community and reduce your CO2 emissions!