The Climate Action Reserve, the nation’s premier carbon offset registry, earned approval from the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to serve the state’s groundbreaking Cap-and-Trade Program as an Offset Project Registry. As an approved registry, the Reserve is officially approved to issue registry offset credits under ARB compliance offset protocols that may then be transitioned into ARB compliance offset credits and used under the state Cap-and-Trade Program. With extensive experience and expertise in administering carbon offset projects under similar voluntary protocols it developed, the Climate Action Reserve is well-prepared and well-qualified to advance the environmental integrity, efficiency and effectiveness of California’s compliance offset program.
“ARB’s authorization of the Reserve as an official offset registry marks an important step in the development of California’s compliance offset program,” said Governor Gray Davis, who in 2001 signed into California state law the enabling legislation to create the Reserve’s legacy program. “The Reserve has long served the voluntary carbon market as a trusted offset program that achieves real, immediate and cost-effective solutions to curb emissions. They will bring the same rigor, transparency and integrity to build confidence and trust in the California carbon market.”
ARB’s four compliance offset protocols, which were adapted from Reserve standards, provide regulatory standards for emissions reductions in forests, urban forests, ozone depleting substances and livestock methane projects from throughout the United States. Regulated facilities under California’s Cap-and-Trade Program may use ARB-issued compliance offset credits from emissions reduction projects to meet up to 8 percent of their total reported emissions.
“As the first and only offset registry whose standards have been adopted by the ARB, the Climate Action Reserve is uniquely suited to support California’s compliance offset program,” stated Linda Adams, Chair of the Climate Action Reserve Board of Directors. “Since its inception the Reserve has established market confidence in the quality of its protocols and offsets, and has allowed the public to see the real environmental benefit from offset projects.”
The Reserve began informally accepting submissions for GHG emissions reduction projects under ARB’s offset protocols while it underwent the application process to become an approved registry. The Reserve supports registration of projects by reviewing project documents, providing guidance to offset project operators and providing supplemental oversight to independent verification bodies in addition to ARB’s oversight. With its years of experience in administering the original protocols, the Reserve has the technical expertise and the sound judgment to minimize risk associated with offset projects.
The first project listed with the Reserve using an ARB compliance offset protocol is the Dairyland Digester livestock project. Dairy operations release methane, a greenhouse gas that is 20 times more powerful at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide. The ARB Livestock Protocol provides regulatory standards for the installation of a manure biogas control system that collects and destroys methane gas.