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Carbon Registries

by mhowell last modified 2008-08-26 12:37

What states are developing C protocols or registries?

Currently there are developing C registries at both the federal and state levels in the USA as well as a number of non-governmental organizations that have developed accounting protocols (Table 1). The Kyoto Protocol is also included in the table below since it is the benchmark by which many of the other protocols are judged. Currently, the USA is not a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol so the developing protocols and regestries in the USA may differ in the acceptable approaches for carbon sequestration or carbon accounting.

Entity Protocol
Department of Energy 1605(b) DOE final general guidelines DOE technical guidelines DOE Forestry Appendix
California Climate Action Registry docs California Project Protocol
Georgia Georgia Forestry Commission Georgia Protocol
Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Northeast RGGI
The Climate Registry
No offset protocol
Chicago Climate Exchange
CCX forest offsets
United Nations Kyoto Protocol LULUC

How do these protocols and registries differ?

A central component of any of the protocls is how to quantify an entity’s carbon stocks and carbon sequestration activities. There are three basic components to this question:

1) what carbon stocks will be quantified,

2) what forest management activities will be accepted as beneficial for sequestering carbon, and

3) what measurement methods are required for quantifying the accumulation in the carbon stocks.

What do you need to do to register C credits from your land?

To register C credits from your property you either need to be in a State that has an operating registry or need some other access to a carbon market? Currently, California and Georgia have active registries. The Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will likely be available in 2008. The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) is also currently available and does work at a national scale. The CCX, however, is generally dealing with larger land owners or through aggregators. Aggregators function by accumulating many small properties under a single carbon offset project and thus being able to sell larger volume C trades.

Given that one of these registries is available to you, you would then need to quantify the carbon in your forest according to the appropriate protocol. Components of these protocols are describe under C components.

Now having your estimates and the documentation to explain how these estimates were generated you could register your credits. These credits would then be available for sale.

As a land owner you also need to be aware that many registries or carbon offset projects will require that your land has a forest management plan or may need to be certified. Also, some registries will require that a easement be placed on your land to ensure the long-term permanence of the C sequestration project.