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Climate Registry FAQs

Q. What is a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions registry?
A. A GHG emissions registry is a bottom-up approach to emissions accounting, where companies and organizations quantify and report their emissions from various individual sources according to a uniform accounting standard.

Q. What are the benefits of joining the Registry?
A. Benefits of joining the Registry include:

  • Demonstrate environmental leadership
  • Document early actions to voluntarily emissions
  • Identify and manage GHG risks and opportunities
  • Gain access to user-friendly web-based software and technical assistance as you develop your inventory
  • Participate in policy discussions relevant to your industry and evolving GHG policy
  • Gain competitive advantage by increasing operational efficiency
  • Manage carbon-related risks

Q. Is the Registry a government agency?
A. No, the Registry is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, founded by the participating states, tribes, and provinces. It is not an advocacy organization. The only political issues in which it takes a position are those associated with the accuracy and consistency of GHG measurement and reporting.

Q. How can my organization join the Registry?
A. As of 3/11/15, their website was not working correctly. So, write a letter, ask for a "Statement of Intent" form, and fax the letter to (213-623-6716). Their website is  If the site is working, go to it and download the Statement of Intent form, complete it, and fax it to (213-623-6716).

Q. What is the value to the states, tribes and provinces of having such a cooperative initiative?
A. The Registry’s members find value in:

  • The creation of a vehicle for politically and geographically diverse states/tribes/provinces to take action together on climate change.
  • Establishment of a common infrastructure to support current and future mandatory programs.
  • Lower costs for states/tribes/provinces by pooling resources.
  • Standardization of best practices in GHG emissions reporting.

Q. Will the Registry establish regulation of GHG emissions?
A. No. The Registry is policy-neutral. It is intended to support a range of state-level policies, including voluntary reporting of GHG emissions, mandatory reporting of GHG emissions, and regulatory GHG emissions reduction programs. These decisions will be made by states, provinces and tribes. The Registry will ensure consistency and transparency between programs and establish a high level of integrity in emissions accounting and reporting.

Q. Are there other state GHG registries?
A. The Registry represents a linking of several state-sponsored GHG emissions reporting efforts, including the California Climate Action Registry and the Eastern Climate Registry. It is anticipated that any mandatory state-level GHG reporting will be linked with the Registry.

Q. Our city is interested in reporting and reducing our GHG emissions. How does the Registry's program compare with ICLEI and the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Climate Initiative?
A. Many participants in these two programs also participate in the Registry. It was designed to be complementary and supportive of these efforts.

Q. What emissions do Reporters register?
A. Reporters agree to calculate both direct and indirect GHG emissions. Direct emissions include those from onsite combustion, manufacturing processes and from company-owned transportation fleets. Emissions associated with electricity and steam consumption are the only indirect emissions required to be reported by the Registry. However, Reporters are also encouraged to register additional indirect emissions. Reporters measure and report emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

Q. Can I report emissions from specific projects?
A. Currently the Registry does not accept emissions associated with specific projects.

Q. Why do I have to report indirect emissions? Wouldn’t that be double counting if the electricity generator also reported the direct emissions from the electricity I consume?
A. Direct and indirect emissions are reported and tracked separately. By providing for reporting of both direct and indirect emissions, the Registry is helping participants prepare for any future regulatory scheme, as well as helping companies identify opportunities to increase efficiency.

Q. What “proof” of my emissions do I have to provide?
A. The Registry requires results to be verified by third-party verifiers that have been accredited as qualified to undertake the verification process.

Q. Can I report “offsets” or emission reductions that I’ve purchased or traded?
A. The Registry may allow reporting of non-verified information as an adjunct to the company’s total annual emissions results associated with its operations. These could include offsets, information related to changes in operation that impact annual emission results, efficiency improvements and other information a reporting entity believes is of interest to the public. Verification standards may be adopted in the future for offsets.

Q. How is the Registry funded?
A. Initial funding has come from private foundations and the participating Members. On an on-going basis, it is expected that the Registry will be primarily funded through fees from Reporters.

Q. What does it cost to participate?
A. The Registry has adopted a tiered annual fee structure which allows organizations of all sizes to participate at a low relative cost. Annual fees range from $450 to $10,000.

Q. How long will the verification process take?
A. The Registry anticipates that the time necessary for a Verifier to conduct verification activities will range anywhere from a few hours (for a Reporter with only office-based simple emissions), to several weeks (for a larger organization with multiple facilities and complex emissions). The entire verification process will likely take between 4 and 16 weeks to complete.

Q. Who are the Verifiers and how are they selected?
A. The Verifiers are private companies with expertise in tracking GHG emissions. Many of them also perform other types of verification activities such as ISO. In late 2008, the Registry will provide a list of accredited Verifiers.

Q. How does the Registry develop its protocols?
A. The Registry has developed a public process for bringing all stakeholders to the table and taking input from the public in the development of its accounting protocols. If you wish to be informed regarding the development of new protocols or modification of existing ones, you should subscribe to Registry updates through the website (Contact Us page).