California accepting carbon verifiers, registries

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has released application documents for carbon registries and verifiers planning to engage in the state’s cap-and-trade market.

Both registries and verifiers will undergo an extensive ARB review to ensure the integrity of North America’s largest carbon market which is set to launch at the end of the year.

Several voluntary carbon offset registries are expected to apply to serve in an administrative capacity, tracking offset projects and carbon credits as they are transferred from the project developers who generate them, to the regulated California emitters who will retire them.

Since the ARB did not release its own carbon project documents until this past year, they are accepting Early Action Offset Credits (EAOCs) that have been approved by other reputable carbon registries in order to meet the offset demand.

Even with EAOCs, market analysts have predicted a serious shortage in available carbon offsets. Regulated emitters can use offsets to meet 8% of their compliance obligation, which totals a demand for over 200 million offsets by 2020, the year California plans to have its state-wide emissions reduced back to 1990 levels.

Ahead of the California carbon market’s first allowance auction in November, futures trading has already begun. California carbon allowances (CCAs) have been trading between $14-$16.50 for the past several weeks.