[§225P-6] Carbon offset program. (a) The office of planning in partnership with the greenhouse gas sequestration task force shall investigate and establish a carbon offset program that:
(1) Provides expertise in carbon offsetting to public agencies and private entities and assists in coordinating carbon offset projects of public agencies, including but not limited to the generation, certification, and marketing of carbon credits;
(2) Allows for proceeds and revenues generated by state departments from sales of offset credits to be deposited into suitable funds particularly for reinvestment to generate further carbon offset credits; provided that the funds are used in accordance with the purposes of the fund;
(3) Allows for proceeds and revenues generated by state agencies from sales of carbon credits other than as described in paragraph (2) to be invested in projects enhancing the State's efforts to mitigate or adapt to climate change; and
(4) Is consistent with the State's sustainability goals and policies.
(b) The office of planning in partnership with the greenhouse gas sequestration task force shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation, to the legislature and the climate change mitigation and adaptation commission no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the regular session of 2020.
(c) As used in this section:
"Carbon credit" means a tradable certificate or permit issued by a carbon registry that represents a greenhouse gas reduction or greenhouse gas removal enhancement that is equivalent to one metric ton of carbon dioxide and meets the requirements of the carbon offset program.
"Carbon offset" means a compensatory measure made by an agency, business, or individual to reduce carbon dioxide emissions or to increase carbon dioxide sequestration.
"Carbon registry" means any established international, national, or regional carbon registry program that serves voluntary or compliance markets, provides an independent carbon standard to verify and certify carbon offsets, and issues carbon credits. [L 2018, c 16, §2]