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Andy Nguyen
By Andy Nguyen March 31, 2023

No, a credit card measuring people's carbon footprint isn't part of a government plot

If Your Time is short

  • Mastercard introduced the DO Black credit card in 2019 as a way for people to measure their carbon footprint through their purchase activity. Instead of a typical spending limit on the card, DO Black limited spending based on carbon emissions. The card restricted spending once a person reached their yearly carbon emissions limit. 
  • The credit card was discontinued in 2022. 
  • There is no evidence the card was part of a plot to control people’s lives under a single, totalitarian government. 

In 2019, Mastercard partnered with the Swedish fintech company Doconomy to release its DO Black credit card that measured a person’s carbon footprint through their purchase activity and restricted the ability to use the card once that person reached their carbon limit for the year. 

Mastercard called the credit card the first of its kind to put a financial limit on a person’s carbon footprint. But a recent Facebook video offers a dire warning that the card was part of a larger plot by the government to exert control over people’s lives. 

The card is part of "The Great Reset," a man’s voice says in a Feb. 26 video. "This is how they’re going to control where you go, how you’re going to get there, what you can buy, what you can eat, who you can see," the man in the video said. 

The Facebook post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)

The man in the video cites baseless conspiracy theories to support his claim and mischaracterizes the intent of the DO Black card. 

What is ‘The Great Reset’?

The World Economic Forum proposed an initiative during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 called "The Great Reset." It detailed how the global community could improve the state of the world and manage the "direct consequences of the COVID-19 crisis." 

Conspiracy theorists have latched onto the unfounded idea that the proposals are part of an attempt to create a single, totalitarian world government. 

PolitiFact has found no evidence of any sinister intent by the World Economic Forum and rated False the claim that the organization advocates replacing capitalism with an economic system that is socialist, communist or fascist. Other fact-checkers have debunked similar claims about the World Economic Forum’s initiative. 

The DO Black Credit Card

Mathias Wikström, CEO of Doconomy, told PolitiFact his company discontinued the DO Black card in 2022 because of a shift in business models. 

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The main aim of the credit card — which was voluntary to obtain — was to highlight the importance of making responsible purchases and to encourage people to do their part to combat climate change. 

Wikström said the DO Black card supported the Paris Agreement. The agreement, adopted by 196 countries at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, outlined the need to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to prevent global temperatures from rising 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-Industrial Revolution levels.

The card didn’t do the things the man in the video claims it did. Instead, it empowered people to "track their own carbon footprint and implement more sustainable consumption choices," Wikström said.

Our ruling

A video shared on Facebook claimed a credit card Mastercard released was part of a government plot to control people’s lives. 

The post cited baseless conspiracy theories related to the World Economic Forum, claiming the organization under its "Great Reset" initiative from 2020 wants to reshape the world under a single, totalitarian government. 

The DO Black card, introduced in 2019, limited people’s spending based on the carbon emissions from their purchases. The card aimed to make people more aware of their purchases’ environmental impact. 

The Doconomy CEO told PolitiFact using the card was voluntary and didn’t restrict people’s lives. 

The card was discontinued in 2022.  

We rate this claim False.

Our Sources

Facebook video (archive), Feb. 26, 2023

Mastercard, DO Black - the world’s first credit card with a carbon limit, April 30, 2019

Email with Mathias Wikström, CEO of Doconomy, March 20, 2023

United Nations Climate Change, The Paris Agreement, accessed March 29, 2023

World Economic Forum, The Great Reset, accessed March 29, 2023

PolitiFact, "The Great Reset is not a conspiracy to force changes in economic systems," Oct. 11, 2022

Full Fact, "Ukraine is not enacting the ‘Great Reset’ with an app," March 25, 2022

Reuters, "Fact Check-The World Economic Forum did not issue ‘urgent memo’ detailing 18-month review of ‘Great Reset Phase I solutions,’" Aug. 16, 2022

USA Today, "Fact check: False claim that World Economic Forum chairman said internet must be reformed," March 31, 2022

BBC, "How '15-minute cities' will change the way we socialise," Jan. 4, 2021

The Associated Press, "FACT FOCUS: Conspiracies misconstrue ‘15-minute city’ idea," March 2, 2023

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No, a credit card measuring people's carbon footprint isn't part of a government plot

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