Emitters in California’s cap-and-trade market used offsets to cover 4.5% of their compliance obligations in the scheme’s first two years, translating into around 13 million credits, according to the state Air Resources Board’s website.
The number is well below the 8% usage limit, and means there remains around 21 million issued offsets in circulation.
The offsets were surrendered before the Nov. 1 deadline, along with around 278 million carbon allowances, to cover emissions in the scheme’s first compliance period (2013-2014).
Emitters were obligated to surrender carbon units equivalent to a total 290.7 million metric tonnes of CO2e, and ARB reported a 99.8% compliance rate.
Emitters regulated by the programme surrendered 1.7 million offsets last year as part of their 2013 compliance obligations, which required installations to cover 30% of their emissions in the first year of the scheme.
California’s offset issuances have been slower than expected, leading to the build up of an administrative bottleneck that ARB is currently trying to clear.
The offset usage figure was published as part of a presentation at an ARB public meeting on Thursday, which provided an update on the state’s carbon market.
Amongst the other information summarised was:
– Around 450 emitting facilities are covered by California’s cap-and-trade programme
– A further 260 or so voluntary entities participate in it, including offset project developers, brokers and traders
– Some 625 million compliance instruments are currently held in private accounts, with an approximate market value of $7.56 billion
– 70 compliance projects and 90 early action projects have received offsets to date
– 111 offset project verifiers have been accredited by ARB
– Just under 34 million offsets have been issued so far
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org