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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Air Resources Board announces listing of early-action carbon offset projects

Air Resources Board announces listing of early-action carbon
offset projects

First step in the approval process for transitioning voluntary
offset credits to the Cap-and-Trade Program

Sacramento—The Air Resources Board (ARB) has released the first
listings for carbon offset projects with voluntary offset credits
to be considered for possible use in California’s Cap-and-Trade

Recognizing these existing projects supports the requirements of
AB 32 to ensure that early voluntary reductions receive
appropriate credit and helps create an initial supply of
compliance offset credits for the Cap-and-Trade Program.

The Cap-and-Trade Program allows some greenhouse gas emission
reductions and removal enhancements from qualified projects
issued credits under ARB-approved early action registries (the
American Carbon Registry and the Climate Action Reserve) to
transition to compliance offset credits. These projects are only
eligible to transition if they followed earlier versions of the
protocols that were formally included in the Cap-and-Trade
Regulation, adopted in 2011.

Listing these projects is the first step in a rigorous process to
determine if voluntary offsets meet the same stringent standards
as offsets generated under the compliance offset protocols that
are now part of the Cap-and-Trade Program.

“We have determined that every single California offset credit
allowed into the program represents a real ton of greenhouse gas
reductions.” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “These voluntary
projects will be held to the same rigorous verification standards
as credits generated by the compliance offset protocols.”

The early action projects played an important role in helping
develop a broad-based commitment to reducing greenhouse gases.
They also played an important role in the development of the
existing protocols.

The listing, which includes general information about the offset
project, signifies that the project developer has notified ARB
that it is seeking approval to transition voluntary offset
credits to compliance offset credits under the Cap-and-Trade

After listing the project, the offset project developer is
required to hire an ARB accredited third-party verifier—with no
previous connection to the project—to perform a regulatory review
to assure voluntary offset credits to be transitioned were
correctly calculated and verified under the early action offset
program. Failure to receive approval at this stage triggers a
full verification of the project by an ARB accredited third-party

After successful completion of verification, ARB staff will
review the project documentation to ensure that the project meets
the Board’s rigorous standards.  If the review shows the
voluntary offsets conform to the regulatory requirements,
compliance offsets will be issued for the amounts and years the
project developer has requested.
For ARB to issue a compliance offset credit the voluntary offset
credit must represent a reduction or removal enhancement that is
real, additional, quantifiable, verifiable, enforceable and

The listing of these 25 projects as of March 7, 2013, represents
a significant step toward eventual issuance of compliance offset
credits. Should all of these projects be given approval (and that
remains to be determined as noted above) these projects could
potentially result in up to three million offset credits made
available for compliance under the cap-and-trade program.

It is estimated that the review process will take several weeks
before the first ARB compliance offset credits are issued.

To see the list of early action offset projects applying for ARB
consideration, go here:

For details of California’s Cap-and-Trade Program, go here: