10 CFR 300.7 - Net emission reductions.
(a) Entities that intend to register emission reductions achieved must comply with the requirements of this section. Entities may voluntarily follow these procedures if they want to demonstrate the achievement of net, entity-wide reductions for years prior to the earliest year permitted for registration. Only large emitters must follow the requirements of paragraph (b) of this section, but small emitters may do so voluntarily. Only entities that qualify as small emitters may use the special procedures in paragraph (c) of this section. Entities seeking to register emission reductions achieved by other entities (offsets) must certify that these emission reductions were calculated in a manner consistent with the requirements of paragraph (d) of this section and use the emission reduction calculation methods identified in § 300.8. All entities seeking to register emission reductions must comply with the requirements of paragraph (e) of this section. Only reductions in the emissions of the first six categories of gases listed in the definition of “greenhouse gases” in § 300.2 are eligible for registration.
(b) Assessing net emission reductions for large emitters.
(1) Entity-wide reporting is a prerequisite for registering emission reductions by entities with average annual emissions of more than 10,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Net annual entity-wide emission reductions must be based, to the maximum extent practicable, on a full assessment and sum total of all changes in an entity's emissions, eligible avoided emissions and sequestration relative to the entity's established base period(s). This assessment must include all entity emissions, including the emissions associated with any non-U.S. operations covered by the entity statement, although the reductions achieved by non-U.S. operations must be separately totaled prior to being integrated with the net emission reductions achieved by U.S. operations. It must include the annual changes in the total emissions of the entity, including the total emissions of each of the subentities identified in its entity statement. All changes in emissions, avoided emissions, and sequestration must be determined using methods that are consistent with the guidelines described in § 300.8 of this part.
(2) If it is not practicable to assess the changes in net emissions resulting from certain entity activities using at least one of the methods described in § 300.8 of this part, the entity may exclude them from its estimate of net emission reductions. The entity must identify as one or more distinct subentities the sources of emissions excluded for this reason and describe the reasons why it was not practicable to assess the changes that had occurred. DOE believes that few emission sources will be excluded for this reason, but has identified at least two situations where such an exclusion would be warranted. For example, it is likely to be impossible to assess the emission changes associated with a new manufacturing plant that produces a product for which the entity has no historical record of emissions or emissions intensity (emissions per unit of product output). However, once the new plant has been operational for at least a full year, a base period and base value(s) for the new plant could be established and its emission changes assessed in the following year. Until the emission changes of this new subentity can be assessed, it should be identified in the entity's report as a subentity for which no assessment of emission changes is practicable. The other example involves a subentity that has reduced its output below the levels of its base period. In such a case, the subentity could not use the absolute emissions method and may also be unable to identify an effective intensity metric or other method.
(3) In calculating its net annual emission reductions, an entity should exclude any emissions or sequestration that have been excluded from the entity's inventory. The entity should also exclude all de minimis and biogenic emissions that are excluded from the entity's inventory of greenhouse gas emissions from its assessments of emission changes.
(c) Assessing emission reductions for entities with small emissions.
(1) Entities with average annual emissions of less than or equal to 10,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent are not required to inventory their total emissions or assess all changes in their emissions, eligible avoided emissions and sequestration to qualify for registered reductions. These entities may register emission reductions that have occurred since 2002 and that are associated with one or more specific activities, as long as they:
(i) Perform a complete assessment of the annual emissions and sequestration associated with each of the activities upon which they report, using methods that meet the same quality requirements applicable to entity-wide emission inventories; and
(ii) Determine the changes in the emissions, eligible avoided emissions or sequestration associated with each of these activities.
(2) An entity reporting as a small emitter must report on one or more specific activities and is encouraged, but not required to report on all activities occurring within the entity boundary. Examples of small emitter activities include: vehicle operations; product manufacturing processes; building operations or a distinct part thereof, such as lighting; livestock operations; crop management; and power generation. For example, a farmer managing several woodlots and also producing a wheat crop may report emission reductions associated with managing an individual woodlot. However, the farmer must also assess and report the net sequestration resulting from managing all the woodlots within the entity's boundary. The small emitter is not required to report on emissions or reductions associated with growing the wheat crop.
(3) A small emitter must certify that the reductions reported were not caused by actions likely to cause increases in emissions elsewhere within the entity's operations. This certification should be based on an assessment of the likely direct and indirect effects of the actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
(d) Net emission reductions achieved by other entities (offset reductions or emission reductions submitted by aggregators). A reporting entity or aggregator under certain conditions may report or register all or some of the net emission reductions achieved by entities that choose not to report under the section 1605(b) program. In all cases, an agreement must exist between the reporting entity or aggregator and the other entity that specifies the quantity of the emission reductions (or increases) achieved by the other entity that may be reported or registered as an offset reduction by the reporting entity or aggregator. A large emitter that is reporting on behalf of other entities must meet all of the requirements applicable to large emitters, including submission of an entity statement, an emissions inventory, and an entity-wide assessment of emission reductions. If an aggregator is a small emitter, it may choose to report only on the activities, emissions and emission reductions of the entities on behalf of which it is reporting and not to report on any of its own activities or emission reductions. The reporting entity or aggregator must include in its report all of the information on the other entity, including an entity statement, an emissions inventory (when required), and an assessment of emission reductions that would be required if the other entity were directly reporting to EIA. The net emissions reductions (or increases) of each other entity will be evaluated separately by EIA to determine whether they are eligible for registration in accordance with the guidelines of this part. Those registered reductions (or increases) assigned by the other entity, by agreement, to a reporting entity or aggregator will be included in EIA's summary of all registered offset reductions for that entity or aggregator. If the agreement between the reporting entity and other entity is discontinued, for any reason, the reporting entity must inform EIA and must identify any emission reductions previously reported that could be attributable to an increase in the carbon stocks of the other entity. Such reductions will be removed by EIA from the records of the reporting entity's offset reductions.
(e) Net emission reductions to be reported by other entities as offset reductions. Entities must identify in their report the quantity of any net emission reductions covered by the report, if any, that another entity will report as an offset reduction, including the name of the other entity;
(f) Adjusting for year-to-year increases in net emissions.
(1) Normally, net annual emission reductions for an entity are calculated by summing the net annual changes in emissions, eligible avoided emissions and sequestration, as determined using the calculation methods identified in § 300.8 and according to the procedures described in paragraph (b) of this section for large emitters, paragraph (c) for small emitters of this section for small emitters, and paragraph (d) of this section for offsets. However, if the entity experienced a net increase in emissions for one or more years, these increases must be reported and taken into account in calculating any future year reductions. If the entity subsequently achieves net annual emission reductions, the net increases experienced in the preceding year(s) must be more than offset by these reductions before the entity can once again register emission reductions. For example, if an entity achieved a net emission reduction of 5,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in its first year, a net increase of 2,000 metric tons in its second year, and a net reduction of 3,000 metric tons in its third year, it would be able to register a 5,000 metric ton reduction in its first year, no reduction in its second year, and a 1,000 metric ton reduction in its third year (3,000-2,000). The entity must file full reports for each of these three years. Its report for the second year would indicate the net increase in emissions and this increase would be noted in EIA's summary of the entity's report for that year and for any future year, until the emissions increase was entirely offset by subsequent emission reductions. If this same entity achieved a net reduction of only 1,000 metric tons in its third year, it would not be able to register additional reductions until it had, in some future year, offset more than its second year increase of 2,000 metric tons.