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newsrel -- Air Resources Board sets stage for carbon offset projects

Posted: 14 Dec 2012 12:41:54
Please consider the following news release from the California
Air Resources Board regarding Carbon Offset Projects:



December 14, 2013

Contact: Dave Clegern
(916) 322-2990 


Air Resources Board sets stage for carbon offset projects

Registries approved, verifiers trained and accredited

Sacramento—The Air Resources Board today announced that the
American Carbon Registry and the Climate Action Reserve have been
formally approved as offset project registries to help evaluate
compliance-grade carbon offsets under California’s cap-and-trade
program. The Air Resources Board has also accredited specially
trained third-party offset verifiers.

"Today's announcement marks an important milestone in the
progress of California's climate program,” said Air Resources
Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “By authorizing real, permanent
offsets from farms, forests, and businesses that are not covered
by cap-and-trade, we can reduce the costs of compliance with the
program and encourage investments in sustainable practices
throughout the California economy." 

Carbon offsets reduce greenhouse gas emissions in sectors such as
agriculture and forestry that are not included directly under the
cap-and-trade regulation. For example, forests can be managed to
ensure that they increase the total amount of carbon stored in
the trees, thus removing additional carbon dioxide from the
Each offset credit equals one metric ton of carbon dioxide and,
if issued by the Air Resources Board, can be used by companies
and facilities to comply with the cap-and-trade regulation for up
to eight percent (8%) of each covered entity’s compliance
obligation. In this sense, they are the equivalent of a
California carbon allowance and, like those compliance
instruments, can also be freely sold or traded.

To meet the rigorous requirements of the cap-and-trade regulation
every carbon offset credit must be ‘additional,’ that is, over
and above any reductions already required by law or regulation.
They must also be real, verifiable, quantifiable, enforceable and

The Air Resources Board currently has approved protocols (methods
of accounting to measure the number of tons of reductions
achieved) for four types of offset projects:

• Forestry 
• Urban forestry
• Dairy manure digesters 
• Destruction of Ozone Depleting Substances

Approved offset project registries are authorized to provide
their services under the Air Resources Board compliance
protocols. Those services include listing and reviewing projects
and issuing registry offset credits which may later be submitted
to the Air Resources Board for final evaluation and issuance of
Air Resources Board compliance offset credits.

The American Carbon Registry is based in Sacramento; the Climate
Action Reserve is based in Los Angeles.

The Air Resources Board has trained and certified more than 60
independent, third-party verifiers to serve as partners in
evaluating the quality of any offset projects submitted for
approval. Eleven verification bodies have also been certified.
Verification is conducted by teams of accredited verifiers from
accredited verification bodies. Verifiers must work through the
accredited verification bodies.

Accredited third-party verifiers have extensive backgrounds in
related areas before they qualify for Air Resources Board
training, including appropriate field and auditing experience as
well as the scientific and engineering knowledge required for
verification. Third-party verifiers must then go through Air
Resources Board training and pass a specialized test.

After the quantity of carbon offsets generated by a registered
project is verified, the Air Resources Board reviews the findings
prior to issuing compliance offset credits. If the Air Resources
Board approves those offsets, they may be used to comply with
California’s cap-and-trade regulation.
A list of accredited verification bodies and third-party
verifiers will follow. 

Protocols for approved cap-and-trade offsets can be found here: 

More information on California’s cap-and-trade program can be
found here:

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