Climate Commitment Act update: Two offset registries approved under cap-and-invest program

Source: Washington State Department of Ecology

March 27, 2023 – Ecology is pleased to announce the approval of these two registries to provide offset project listing and verification services under the cap-and-invest program. Both nonprofits have extensive experience working with the California Air Resources Board (CARB) on California’s cap-and-trade program.

Climate Action Reserve (CAR) was originally established in 2001 by the State of California to provide oversight and verification of offset projects in the voluntary market, and CARB adopted four of the registry’s protocols for use in the cap-and-trade program.

Likewise, the American Carbon Registry (ACR) has a long history of supporting both voluntary and regulatory carbon markets. Established in 1996 and approved by CARB in 2012, ACR has been working with the four offset protocols Ecology adopted from that program for many years.

Next steps

The approval of ACR and CAR is just the first step in the development of Ecology’s offset program. Now, offset project developers will be able to submit projects for approval by one of these two registries. If a project meets the necessary requirements, projects will be ‘listed’ by the registry. If the project successfully completes third-party verification and Ecology determines that it meets the standard laid out in our regulation, it will be eligible for offset credits that can be used in Washington’s cap-and-invest program.

These offset credits can be purchased from the project developers by businesses to cover a portion of their emissions – or they can be bought and sold by market participants as an investment, like stocks and bonds.

You can find more information about Ecology’s offset program – including forms and resources for offset project developers and verifiers – on their webpage. For any questions about registering a project, please contact the Offsets team at