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California allows rice farming offsets, amends forestry offset protocols

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The Californian Air Resources Board (CARB) has voted to adopt an offset protocol for rice farming as an eligible project category to generate credits for use in the California-Quebec cap and trade program. Covered entities may use these credits to meet 8% of their compliance obligation. Farmers who engage in approved methane reduction practices can receive carbon credits for each ton of CO2 reduced. As with the other existing offset protocols in California, farmers throughout the US can participate and receive carbon credits. Offsets from forestry, livestock, ozone depleting substances and mine methane capture projects may also be used. As of September 2014, 12 million tons of offsets have been issued. CARB predicts that the rice protocol will generate an additional offset supply of 0.5-3.0 MtCO2e until 2020.

The CARB also expanded the forestry protocol to include projects in Alaska. Previously, the protocol had been confined to the 48 contiguous states. Three additional provisions to forestry management were also included based on the latest science.


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