• Important Deadline Approaching for Participation the California Climate Action Registry
  • November 27, 2006
  • Law Firm: Farella Braun + Martel LLP - San Francisco Office
  • This past September, California enacted a groundbreaking law requiring the California Air Resources Board (ARB) to develop rules that will, by 2020, reduce statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, back to 1990 levels.  This landmark legislation, known as the "California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006" (Assembly Bill (AB) 32, Núñez), also requires ARB, by January 1, 2008, to publish rules for mandatory GHG emissions reporting which incorporate, to the maximum extent feasible, the standards and protocols developed by the California Climate Action Registry (Registry).  (California Health and Safety Code Section (§) 38530(b)(3).)  The Registry was created by law in 2001 for the purpose of developing a voluntary inventory and standardized methodologies for measurement of GHG emissions.  Its members come from a broad spectrum of the private, public and non-profit sectors. 

    AB 32 provides that those who participate in the Registry by December 31, 2006 and develop a reporting program will not have to significantly alter their program, except to ensure it is complete and verifiable.  (Ibid.)  Additionally, it also provides that ARB must adopt mandatory reduction rules by January 1, 2011 which ensure, to the extent feasible, that those who undertake voluntary reductions prior to implementation of any mandatory reduction requirement "receive appropriate credit for early voluntary reductions".   (Ibid, § 38562(b)(3).) 

    It is still too soon to predict the categories of sources that ARB may target for reductions.  However, participation in the Registry may be the best way for a source owner to assure that it receives credit for any reductions achieved prior to the effective date of any mandatory reduction requirement.  Sources throughout the public and private sector are expected to undertake significant voluntary GHG emission reduction measures and energy conservation efforts in the next few years. 

    According to the Registry, all that an entity needs to do at this time (prior to December 31, 2006) to enroll in the Registry and thereby assure that its GHG reporting program is recognized under AB 32 is sign and submit the Registry's "Statement of Intent" and pay the appropriate registration fee.  By signing the "Statement of Intent", a participant commits to inventory its direct and indirect GHG emissions within California and, if it chooses, other states as well.  The participant then has until August 31 to inventory and report its emissions, which may be done through use of the "Climate Action Registry Reporting On-Line Tool" (known as "CARROT"), and until December 31 to have them certified by an approved third-party certifier.