Air Resources Board announces registration for cap-and-trade tracking system
SACRAMENTO - Today the California Air Resources Board announced the next step for regulated facilities and interested parties wishing to participate in the state’s first auction of allowances under the cap-and-trade program. That step is registration in the Compliance Instrument Tracking System Service, or CITSS (pronounced ‘kits’).
CITSS will track each allowance when it is purchased, traded, resold and finally retired by a regulated party to meet its greenhouse gas reduction obligation. A tracking system account is also needed in order to participate in the upcoming auction of greenhouse gas allowances.
Each carbon allowance is a permit to emit one metric ton of carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas. The auction, to be held in November 2012, is part of the program developed under AB 32 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the state’s largest industries, and energy generators and importers.
Starting in 2013, some 600 facilities around the state will need to comply with the cap-and-trade regulation. Facilities must hold a sufficient number of allowances to cover their annual greenhouse gas emissions through 2020. Since the total number of allowances issued drops by between two and three percent each year, overall emissions throughout the state will also drop.
The decision as to how to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions is left up to each facility, providing maximum flexibility while also driving innovation in clean energy technologies.
The initial registration function announced today will be followed in September by the next phase in the tracking system: the ability for ARB to create and distribute allowances in CITSS, and for registered account holders to transfer allowances between CITSS accounts.
Preparations are now underway for a practice auction in August to test the elements of the auction platform and its related systems, including the CITSS registration system. The first auction will be held on November 14, 2012.
All those wishing to participate in the November auction must register in CITSS no later than August 1, 2012 in order to allow adequate time for their registration to be processed.
The province of Quebec is paralleling California’s action today by turning on a CITSS registration program for regulated facilities and interested parties for its provincial cap and trade program.