Climate Action Reserve Becomes First Registry to Begin Accepting Compliance Offset Projects for California’s Cap-and-Trade Program

May 17, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CA – The Climate Action Reserve, the nation’s premier carbon offset registry, has become the first registry to accept submissions for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction projects under California’s cap-and-trade protocols while it undergoes the application process to become a California Air Resources Board (ARB) accredited offset project registry. Project owners and developers may submit project documents to the Reserve to get a head start in obtaining review of project documents, ensure their adherence to ARB’s adopted offset protocols and list the projects in the Reserve’s registry.

“We are eager to drive forward California’s carbon market and help achieve real, immediate and cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gary Gero, President of the Reserve. “By processing compliance projects at this juncture, we are helping to ensure that there will be sufficient offset supply for the market in the early going. Our deep experience and expertise in the four Reserve offset protocols adopted by ARB for use in its compliance program are second to none, and we are excited about the opportunity to grow our respected offsets program into the regulated sector.”

California’s cap-and-trade program implements a phased cap on statewide emissions of GHGs. Regulated entities are able to meet up to eight percent of their compliance obligations with ARB offset credits. The four offset protocols adopted by ARB for use in its regulatory cap-and-trade program and for early action offset credit recognition are the Reserve’s Forest, Urban Forest, Ozone Depleting Substances and Livestock Project Protocols. Offset credits issued by ARB approved offset project registries must be converted to ARB offset credits to be eligible for use in the cap-and-trade program.

The Reserve’s processing of projects was applauded by The Nature Conservancy’s California chapter, which collaborated with The Conservation Fund and others on one of the first carbon offset projects registered with the Reserve – Mendocino County’s 23,780-acre Garcia River Forest.

“The Reserve is leading the effort in developing high quality offset standards that are instrumental in informing state policy,” said Louis Blumberg, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s California Climate Change Program. “Their expertise in operating an offset registry with transparency and integrity is instrumental to ensuring the success of California’s compliance market.”

The Reserve will host an in-depth public webinar providing an overview of ARB’s compliance protocols and detailing the process for submitting a compliance project on Wednesday, May 23 at 12:00 pm PDT. Project developers, verification bodies, regulated entities and carbon market participants are encouraged to participate. Kristen Gorguinpour, Program Director, will present information and be available to answer questions.

“There is much anticipation for California’s cap-and-trade program to start, and the Reserve’s early acceptance of compliance projects allows for the program to move forward with more efficiency and confidence,” said John Battaglia, Vice President, Evolution Markets.

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