California Compliance Offset Projects
Under California’s cap-and-trade program, which officially launched in January 2013, the state’s largest sources of GHG emissions are required to meet the regulatory greenhouse gas (GHG) emission caps. To contain costs, up to eight percent of the compliance obligation of capped entities, estimated at 200 million tons 2013-2020, can be met with ARB offset credits.
With ACR’s official approval by the California Air Resources Board (ARB) as an Offset Project Registry (OPR) in December 2012, ACR is immediately open to accept listing and registration of carbon offset projects developed using ARB’s compliance and early action offset protocols.
As an OPR, ACR will work with ARB to oversee the registration and issuance of Registry Offset Credits developed using ARB’s compliance or early action offset protocols. Registry Offset Credits are eligible to be transitioned into ARB compliance offset credits that may be used in the Cap-and-Trade Program. As an approved OPR, ACR will work closely with ARB to ensure offset project operators and verifiers have accurate information to ensure the highest quality of offsets.
ARB's main webpage for the Compliance Offset Program contains information and materials including:
- Verification (including accredited verification bodies and verifiers)
- ARB-approved clarifications for the Measurement of Tree Heights under the Compliance Offset Protocol for U.S. Forests
- Listing Early Action Forest Projects on the American Carbon Registry using ARB-approved early action quantification methodologies. for
Early action offset credits must be issued by Early Action Offset Programs that are approved under the Cap-and-Trade Regulation. American Carbon Registry is an ARB approved Early Action Offset Program.
Early action offset credits issued by an approved Early Action Offset Program under ARB approved voluntary quantification methodologies and that meet regulatory requirements may transition to ARB offset credits. Currently approved voluntary quantification methodologies are:
- Climate Action Reserve U.S. Livestock Project Protocol versions 1.0 through 3.0
- Climate Action Reserve Urban Forest Project Protocol versions 1.0 through 1.1
- Climate Action Reserve U.S. Ozone Depleting Substances Project Protocol version 1.0
- Climate Action Reserve Forest Project Protocol versions 2.1 and 3.0 through 3.2
Additional voluntary quantification methodologies eligible for early action may be added to the list by ARB upon adoption of new compliance offset protocols.
As an ARB approved Early Action Offset Program, American Carbon Registry can list early action projects and issue early action offset credits under any ARB approved voluntary quantification methodology.
For early action forest projects using the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) Forest Project Protocol (FPP) and wishing to list on the American Carbon Registry (ACR), please review the ARB approved clarifications.
For more information, please see ARB’s Early Action Offset Credits webpage.
ARB Compliance Offset Protocols
ARB Compliance Offset Protocols and related documents are available for download from ARB's Compliance Offset Program webpage.
Offset Project Listing Forms
Offset Project Listing Forms for offset projects developed using ARB compliance offset protocols are included below.
Offset Project Data Report Forms
Offset Project Data Report Forms for offset projects developed using ARB compliance offset protocols are included below.
- U.S. Forests Offset Project Data Report Form
- Urban Forests Offset Project Data Report Form
Forms for verification of offset projects developed using ARB compliance offset protocols are included below.
How to List and Issue Registry Offset Credits on ACR: Webinar
To learn more about the process for listing and issuance of Registry Offset Credits and Early Action Offset Credits on ACR for the California Cap-and-Trade Program, view a powerpoint presentation and an instructional webinar video .
For information on the California Compliance Offset Program, contact Belinda Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org
For information or assistance with:
- Early action or compliance forestry offset projects, contact Nick Martin at email@example.com
- Early action or compliance ODS offset projects, contact Belinda Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Early action or compliance livestock offset projects, contact Lauren Nichols at email@example.com
You can also contact ACR's California office:
980 Ninth Street, Suite 2060
Sacramento CA 95814