SF Carbon Fund

First U.S. city to use a surcharge on staff airfare to fund local, green projects (Carbon Fund)

San Francisco, CA

Dogpatch Biofuel

Dogpatch Biofuel

How you can benefit

In July 2009, the City passed an ordinance establishing the San Francisco Carbon Mitigation Program (SF Carbon Fund) to mitigate and sequester carbon by:

  1. Requiring City departments to pay Carbon Impact Payments—a 13% surcharge for each airline ticket purchased for staff.
  2. Mandating San Francisco Department of Environment to grant those funds to government, nonprofit or business projects that reduce or offset polluting greenhouse gas emissions in the Bay Area.

Why it's a leading policy

It was the first U.S. city to use a surcharge on staff airfare to fund local, green projects instead of far away ones. And it is not limited to funding carbon offset projects like community gardens and tree plantings. It can also fund projects that retain storm water, cool temperatures, filter air, and more.


To lessen carbon pollution by funding greenhouse gas reducing activities.

Who can take action

Any organization in the world can fund the Carbon Fund.  Conferences in the city contributed funds.


It funded projects such as Dog Patch Biofuel, the city's first and only public biodiesel-only filling station. It sells recycled or “waste grease” biodiesel.  Its biodiesel does not have virgin feedstocks that often:

  • Cause more polluting carbon because forests are cut to grow corn, palm or soybeans for biodiesel.
  • Could have been grown to feed people.


Shawn Rosenmoss, Development, Community Partnerships, SF Carbon Fund, San Francisco, (415) 355-3746, shawn.rosenmoss@sfgov.org

Last Updated

July 10, 2015