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 known as Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRT) 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 and additional, thereby instilling confidence in the environmental benefit, credibility and efficiency of the U.S. carbon market.
The Climate Action Reserve operates as a program under the similarly named nonprofit organization. Two other programs, the Center for Climate Action and the California Climate Action Registry, also operate under the Climate Action Reserve.
The Climate Action Reserve launched the Center for Climate Action in 2009 to provide programs, services and resources to advance climate action in the West. The Center for Climate Action is a solutions-oriented, partner-driven program bringing together experts and thought-leaders from government, business, science and environment to discuss emerging issues in climate policy and build consensus for policy-oriented action.
The California Climate Action Registry (California Registry) was created by the State of California in 2001 to address climate change through voluntary calculation and public reporting of emissions. The California Registry established protocols to guide emissions inventory reporting and served as a central database for emissions reports. As the California Registry grew and became more successful, the need became apparent for emissions reporting to exist in an integrated system that stretched beyond California's borders. For this reason, the California Registry was involved in establishing The Climate Registry with the mission of expanding the California Registry's emissions reporting work to include all of North America. Emissions inventory reporting is being transitioned to The Climate Registry, and reports for the 2009 reporting year will be the last the California Registry will accept. However, even after that year, the California Registry will continue to represent its members' emissions reports to the State of California.