Emissions Trading & Markets – Climate Action Reserve
U.S. Regulatory Programs and Markets:
The Climate Action Reserve is a national offsets program working to ensure integrity, transparency and financial value in the U.S. carbon market. It does this by establishing regulatory-quality standards for the development, quantification and verification of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction projects in North America issuing carbon offset credits (Verified Emission Reduction – VERs) known as Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRT).
The organization operates as a program under the similarly named nonprofit organization. A sister program, the California Climate Action Registry, (now known as The Climate Registry) also operates under the Climate Action Reserve.
The Climate Action Reserve (Reserve) has become an important program for the voluntary carbon offset market in the United States. In addition to providing standards for quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions projects; it provides protocols for managing third party verification and registers GHG offsets originating from approved projects. The process for registering and tracking offset credits is done in an open and transparent program and information is available through a publicly accessible database.
The Reserve only accepts projects for which the Reserve has developed project protocols. (Current project protocols are available at protocols). Projects must be submitted according to the guidelines of the project protocols. Project documents, including verification reports, are displayed to the public to provide transparency about how the emissions reductions were achieved.
In the Reserve, GHG reductions/removals are recognized as Climate Reserve Tonnes or CRTs (pronounced carrots). One CRT is equal to one metric ton of GHG reduced/sequestered. For transparency, each CRT has a unique serial number with embedded information that identifies the project type, location, developer and vintage (the calendar year in which the reduction actually took place). The unique serial number persists as offsets are transferred between account holders or retired. The actual sale or purchase of CRTs takes place directly between a buyer and seller outside of the Reserve. After a sale takes place, the parties use the Reserve to move CRTs from one account to another.