ARB set to issue 600,000 compliance offsets in California carbon market

September 18, 2013 by California Carbon

Climate Connect News, London: The Air Resources Board announced yesterday that it will issue the first compliance offset credits eligible for use in California’s cap-and-trade greenhouse gas emissions reduction program. The issuance of the carbon offset credits by the Air Resources Board follows an extensive evaluation process including third-party verifications that protocols were strictly followed.

“Issuing the first compliance-grade carbon offset credits marks an important step forward for the cap-and-trade program and California’s efforts to fight climate change,” said Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “These offsets have undergone the most rigorous verification of any existing program. They achieve real greenhouse gas reductions under ARB-approved protocols, and deliver a range of additional environmental benefits.”

The Air Resources Board has begun the process of issuing compliance offset credits for both early action projects and compliance offset projects.  The first compliance offset credits are all for projects developed under the Ozone Depleting Substances Protocol. The ARB has so far added 21 projects based on Ozone Depleting Substances protocol in its list of early action projects.

For carbon offset projects to be considered for Air Resources Board offset credits, they must first be registered with an Air Resources Board-approved carbon registry. Each project developer must then provide a complete history of the project. That documentation and the project site itself must be evaluated by Air Resources Board trained, independent, third-party verifiers.  Air Resources Board staff then review each project as well. This process provides the most rigorous and stringent verification methodology in the world.

Offset credit issuance is a three-step process:

  • Project developer requests that Air Resources Board issue compliance offset credits, and supplies supporting documentation.
  • Once ARB verifies the documentation and makes a determination, credits issued by approved offset registries must then  be retired.
  • ARB then issues that number of compliance offset credits for use under the cap-and-trade program.

Air Resources Board compliance offset credits will be issued within the Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service (CITSS), the same system in which state-issued allowances reside. Once the determination to issue credits is made by ARB, it can take up to 30 days for the credits to be placed in the holder’s account in CITSS. The current batch of 600,000 offsets — for a combination of early action projects and compliance offset projects — are likely to be issued before the end of the month.

In a brief issued to its clients, broker Evolution Markets stated the issuance of compliance offsets will be a very positive development for the thinly traded offsets market in California.

For more information about this article, mail to: contact@californiacarbon.info

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