International Law (UNFCCC)

Joint Implementation (JI) Kyoto Protocol

Annex I countries must have in place a national registry in order to record and track Kyoto units. Having in place a national registry is also one of the eligibility criteria to participate in Track 1 JI.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

CERs may be issued into the national registry accounts of Annex I countries established under the Kyoto Protocol. Non-Annex I countries do not have national registries under the Kyoto Protocol. If a developed country registry able to receive CERs has not been identified when they are issued, CERs may be issued into the CDM Registry before they are forwarded onto a buyer’s registry account. The CDM Registry is an electronic database established and maintained by the CDM Executive Board. The UNFCCC Secretariat is the administrator responsible for implementing and operating the Registry. The purpose of the CDM registry is to ensure the accurate accounting of the issuance, holding, transfer and acquisition of CERs by countries not included in Annex I. It is also connected with the registries of Annex I countries.  

Social and Environmental Standards


Markit manages SocialCarbon’s Registry, which tracks credits and all project details.

Climate, Community, & Biodiversity (CCB) Standards

The CCB Standard does not have an official registry, but the results of all CCB verifications are listed on CCBA’s website. In addition, a ”CCB Label” may be added to carbon credits certified under another standard and recorded on the associated registry if the project is also verified to CCB Standards. The Label is a permanent marker in a carbon credit’s unique registry identification code and is useful as a marker for investors and offset buyers to identify that those carbon credits have come from a project that has been verified as compliant with CCB Standards and therefore has generated community and biodiversity benefits in addition to quantified emissions reductions. The participating registries that can currently add a CCB Label to the carbon credits are Markit VCS Registry and APX VCS Registry.

Donor Financed Initiatives

Germany's REDD+ Early Movers Programme

To qualify as an Early Mover within the context of REM, a country (or jurisdiction) is required to document registry management arrangements prior to programme entry to ensure that emission reductions are not compensated twice.

Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’s Carbon Fund

ER Program host countries must select an appropriate arrangement to ensure that any ERs from REDD+ activities under the ER Program are not generated more than once, or that ERs sold and transferred to the Carbon Fund are not used again by any entity for sale, public relations, compliance or any other purpose. The ER Program host country may decide to maintain its own national ER transaction registry or use a centralised ER transaction registry managed by a third party on its behalf. 

The ER Program must also work with the host country to select an appropriate arrangement to avoid having multiple claims to an ER title. This could be through a national REDD+ program and projects data management system, or use of a third party system. Such systems need to track and record the entity that has title to the ERs produced; the geographical boundaries of the ER Program or project; the scope of REDD+ activities and carbon pools; and the reference level used. Information contained in the system should be publicly available, including via the internet and in the national official language of the host country. A third party audit of the operations of the system is carried out periodically, as agreed with the Carbon Fund.

Developing Country Programmes

Brazil | The Amazon Fund

No formal “registry”, per se, is currently in place. However, the Amazon Fund annual report provides a table of “Resources Raised” which includes contributors, amount received, and how that contribution is associated with a quantity of carbon dioxide tons reduced in a specific year.

Voluntary Carbon Standards

Verified Carbon Standard

The VCS Registry System is currently supported by two registry operators: APX and Markit. New registry service providers are able to join the VCS Registry System at any time. The VCS Registry System is an expandable system where multiple registry operators connect directly to the central VCS Project Database. The VCS Project Database acts as a central record of all registered projects and issued VCUs.

Verified Carbon Standard | Jurisdictional and Nested REDD+ (VCS JNR)

Jurisdictional programs and nested projects applying the VCS JNR Requirements use the VCS Registry System. The VCS Registry System is currently supported by two registry operators: APX and Markit. New registry service providers are able to join the VCS Registry System at any time.

Climate Action Reserve: Mexico Forest Protocol

CAR administers the listing, reporting and verification of the MFP. Credits issued to projects using the protocol are registered and tracked on the CAR’s registry system which ensures the integrity of credits issued through market transactions including retirement. 

The Gold Standard Land Use and Forests Framework

The Gold Standard Registry is the operating system to administrate project information and issue CO2 certificates. It is operated by the company Markit under the guidance of the Gold Standard Secretariat.

Plan Vivo Standard

Markit Environment Registry acts as the registry for Plan Vivo Certificates, which represent the long‐term sequestration or reduction of one tCO2e plus biodiversity and local poverty reduction benefits.

Natural Forest Standard

The Natural Forest Standard Registry is the independently operated tracking platform that ensures transparency, traceability and integrity for all Natural Capital Credits (NCCs) issued to projects verified under the Natural Forest Standard. The Registry enables registered users to receive, transfer and retire NCCs using unique serial number tracking that provides traceability for the lifespan of the credits. The Registry also ensures singularity of issued NCCs through an auditable transaction process and provides links to source project information, to give registry users transparency as to the origin and provenance of all NCCs. 

Developed Country Programmes

California | U.S. Forestry Offset Projects (AB 32)

California has outsourced some parts of the administration of its compliance offset programme, including the use of Offset Project Registries (OPRs) to help facilitate the listing, reporting and verification of projects using approved protocols. Currently two such registries have been approved, the American Carbon Registry and Climate Action Reserve. The OPRs review project submissions and may issue Registry Offset Credits. These credits may then be converted to ARB Offset Credits usable by entities within the cap-and-trade program upon approval of a project by ARB. In addition, “early action” credits issued by the OPRs to projects registered under the Climate Action Reserve’s Forest Project Protocol (Versions 3.2 and earlier) may be eligible for conversion to ARB Offset Credits.

Australian Carbon Farming Initiative (CFI)

The Australian National Registry of Emissions Units is an electronic system that tracks the issuance, trade and retirement of emissions units under the carbon price mechanism, the CFI and the Kyoto Protocol.