California Air Resources Board’s (ARB) Cap-and-Trade Regulation limits greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the emission sources that are responsible for approximately 85 percent of California’s total GHG emissions. It also reduces GHG emissions with time by applying a declining cap on GHG emissions, and implements a compliance program that is flexible through the use of tradable compliance instruments (allowances and offset credits). It became effective in the beginning of 2012 and has been amended few times since then.

At the September 18, 2014 public hearing, ARB approved the proposed amendments to various sections of the Cap-and-Trade regulations as well as updates to three of its compliance offset protocols. These amendments include, but are not limited to:

  • Removing the exemption of imported carbon dioxide from the Cap-and-Trade Regulation;
  • Changes in product data definitions;
  • Clarification on reporting offset credit prices during transfers;
  • Increase in flexibility and clarifications to the requirements for corporate disclosures, including indirect and direct corporate associations; and
  • Updates to quantification methodologies within the U.S. Forest Projects, Ozone Depleting Substances, and Livestock Projects Compliance Offset Protocols.

The modified regulatory language was made available for 15 days public comment on October 2, 2014 through October 17, 2014. A detailed list of the proposed modification and the details regarding the rule making processes can be found here. The amended version of the regulations and offset protocols prepared for this comment period can be found here.