Working with the Reserve

Working with the Reserve

The Climate Action Reserve is approved to serve as an Offset Project Registry (OPR) for the Compliance Offset Program under California’s Cap-and-Trade Program. As an Offset Project Registry, the Reserve lists offset projects, collects project reporting documentation, facilitates verification, and issues Registry Offset Credits (ROCs) for offset projects being implemented using an Air Resources Board (ARB) Compliance Offset Protocol.  Registry Offset Credits are offset credits issued by an Offset Project Registry under the ARB Compliance Offset Program, which may later be transitioned to ARB Offset Credits.  Please refer to Compliance Offset Projects for more information.

The Reserve also served as an Early Action Offset Program. In this role, the Reserve issued Early Action Offset Credits for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions and removal enhancements that met the requirements of the Cap-and-Trade Regulation.  These credits were issued under ARB-approved voluntary offset protocols and helped create an initial supply of offset credits for the Cap-and-Trade Program.  Early Action Offset Credits may not be used to meet a compliance obligation in the Cap-and-Trade Program; however, they may be eligible for transition to ARB Offset Credits to be used for compliance in the Cap-and-Trade Program. 

ARB Registration

All Offset Project Operators and Authorized Project Designees must register with ARB in order to submit a Compliance Offset Project.  Additionally, any entity that intends to hold ARB Offset Credits must register with ARB prior to acquiring credits.  Registration with ARB is administered by ARB through the Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (CITSS), the system by which an entity holds, transfers, and retires compliance instruments.

In order to register with ARB, an entity must qualify according to registration requirements pursuant to §95811 (Covered entities), §95813 (Opt-in covered entities), or §95814 (Voluntary entities).

For more information about CITSS registration, please visit the ARB website.

Source: Title 17, California Code of Regulations, §95830

Verification Bodies

All projects must be verified by an ARB-accredited third-party verification body prior to any issuance of Registry Offset Credits or ARB Offset Credits.  Only verification bodies accredited by ARB may perform verification under the Compliance Offset Program, including early action projects transitioning their credits to ARB Offset Credits.  A list of ARB-accredited verification bodies can be found on the ARB website.

Process for Cancelling Credits

For information on transitioning Early Action Offset Credits to ARB Offset Credits, please refer to this page.

Climate Action Reserve Fee Structure

The Reserve’s fee structure is available here, effective July 1, 2017.

Additionally, the Reserve allows account holders to delay imposition of the offset credit issuance fee for up to five months.  This “installment” feature is designed to allow for more flexibility in creating and managing invoices associated with offset credit issuance.