The California Climate Action Registry, a program of the Climate Action Reserve, closed in December 2010. It served as a voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) registry to protect and promote early actions to reduce GHG emissions by organizations. California Registry provided leadership on climate change by developing credible, accurate, and consistent GHG reporting standards and building tools for organizations to measure, monitor, third-party verify and reduce their GHG emissions consistently across industry sectors and geographical borders.

California Registry members voluntarily measured, verified, and publicly reported their GHG emissions. Members are leaders in their respective industry sectors and are actively participating in solving the challenge of climate change. Registry members are well prepared to participate in market-based solutions and regulatory requirements. The California Air Resources Board (ARB) stated publicly that it would “work in partnership with the California Climate Action Registry to establish a process that will allow entities taking voluntary early actions to document those actions so that the reductions can be considered for credit against AB 32 obligations once the full program is in place. The Board will later determine the appropriate credit to be given for voluntary early actions and the conditions under which voluntary reductions may be used to comply with mandatory requirements.”

The California Registry is still regarded as a leading international thought center on climate change issues and an intersection where business, government and environmental organizations met to work together to implement practical and effective solutions.

History/Enabling Legislation
The California Climate Action Registry was formed in 2001 when a group of CEOs, who were investing in energy efficiency projects that reduced their organizations’ GHG emissions, requested the state create a place to accurately report their GHG emissions history. These farsighted CEOs saw eventual regulation of GHG emissions and wanted to protect their early actions to reduce emissions by having a credible and accurate record of their profiles and baselines. Subsequently, the bill SB1771 was introduced to the legislature by Senator Byron Sher and the California Climate Action Registry was formed. Technical changes were made to the statute in SB1771 and eventually it was signed by Governor Gray Davis on October 13, 2001, finalizing the structure for the California Registry.

The California Registry started with 23 Charter Members and had over 300 of the world’s largest and leading corporations, universities, cities & counties, government agencies and environment organizations voluntarily measuring, monitoring, and publicly reporting their GHG emissions using the California Registry’s protocols and working together to solve climate change.

Member Transition
The Climate Action Reserve is the parent organization of the California Registry and also the sister organization to The Climate Registry. The Climate Registry was formed to continue the California Registry’s work of voluntary reporting and to expand it to cover all of North America. The Climate Registry is a nonprofit collaboration among North American states, provinces, territories and Native Sovereign Nations to set consistent and transparent standards for the calculation, verification and public reporting of GHG emissions into a single registry.

As the issue of climate change becomes a main topic on regional and national levels, California Registry members are faced with an exciting opportunity to continue and strengthen their GHG emissions reporting and reduction profile through The Climate Registry. Transitioning to The Climate Registry allows California Registry members the opportunity to showcase their continuing commitment to calculate, verify and publicly report their organization’s emissions inventories according to high-quality standards. The California Registry strongly encourages its members to continue their emissions reporting and environmental leadership on a North American platform by transitioning membership to The Climate Registry.

The California Registry accepted 2009 GHG emissions reports through the end of 2010. The California Registry will continue to advocate on behalf of its members to protect early actions made prior to the passing of AB32, and all emissions reports submitted to the California Registry will continue to be publicly available in perpetuity.

Climate Action Reserve
As California Registry reporting transitioned to The Climate Registry, the California Registry’s parent organization headed in a new direction. Drawing on its expertise in GHG accounting, the Climate Action Reserve developed a national offsets program 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 GHG emissions reduction projects in North America; issuing carbon offset credits known as Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRTs) generated from such projects; and tracking the transaction of credits over time in a transparent, publicly-accessible system. Adherence to the Reserve’s high standards ensures that emissions reductions associated with projects are real, permanent, verifiable, enforceable and additional, thereby instilling confidence in the environmental benefit, credibility and efficiency of the U.S. carbon market.