Climate Action Reserve Urban Forest Project Protocol

Davis, CA (March 10, 2010)- The Urban Forest Project Protocol provides detailed guidance to insure that tree projects meet eligibility requirements, produce green house gas (GHG) reductions that are additional to a baseline, are sustained for at least 100 years, and do not detract from management of existing trees. Also, it describes how to calculate and report carbon storage by project trees, as well as emissions associated with their maintenance.


The protocol was first adopted by the California Air Resources Board and the California Climate Action Registry (CCAR) in 2008 and was updated by the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) in March 2010. Key elements of the protocol are outlined in a new Protocol Summary. Urban forest projects anywhere in the U.S. can follow the new protocol and be reported to Climate Action Reserve, which will register and serialize GHG reductions after independent verification. If these offsets are sold or retired, the Climate Action Reserve will track their transaction, adding confidence and credibility to the voluntary carbon market.
Important changes to the revised protocol include:
* Project start date must be within 6 months prior to project submission rather than any project started from 2001 to the present
* Project verification procedures are now included within the Protocol
Adoption of the Urban Forest Protocol sets the stage for investment in large-scale tree planting and stewardship projects because projects that adhere to the protocol’s guidance will generate real, reliable, additional, and permanent GHG reductions. Registered carbon reductions are “quality offsets” that pose less risk to investors than unregistered offsets. The market for quality offsets is growing as corporations, utilities, and individuals purchase them to offset their emissions or become carbon neutral.

Related Resources:

Climate Action Reserve Urban Forest Project Protocol
Urban Forests and Climate Change
Urban Forest Projects in the Climate Action Reserve
New Protocol Enables Tree Planting Programs to Offset Emissions
Climate Action Reserve Draft Forest Project Protocol
Protocols for Estimating Greenhouse Gas Benefits of Urban Forests