Market accepting California carbon offset credits

California is poised to begin issuing carbon offset credits for use in the state’s economy-wide carbon market.

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) has approved carbon Offset Project Registries (OPRs) that will issue and track offset credits as they are traded and retired, as well as Verification Bodies that audit project documents to ensure their accuracy.

Additionally, a legal challenge against carbon offset credits was thrown out of court last Friday.

The decision comes as no surprise. At a hearing in December, presiding Judge Ernest Goldsmith responded to the plaintiffs by saying “The shortness of human life requires us to move ahead.”

Carbon offset credits have been proven to be a vital part of a successful carbon market, as they help contain the costs of carbon allowances.

Regulated emitters will be able to purchase carbon offset credits to meet up to 8% of their compliance obligation, translating to a potential demand of over 20 million credits in during the first compliance period that runs from 2013-2014.

In December a deal was reported for 100,000 California carbon offset credits selling at $11 each.