B.C. Output-Based Pricing System

Last updated: September 12, 2023

Putting a price on carbon pollution is a key part of fighting climate change and moving our province to a greener future.

Since 2008, the Province has imposed a carbon tax under the B.C. Carbon Tax Act. This approach includes a charge on consumed fuels and a newly designed B.C. Output-Based Pricing System (B.C. OBPS) mandatory for industry. Primarily the B.C. OBPS ensures there is a price incentive for industrial emitters to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but it also promotes innovation and addresses concerns of carbon leakage.

B.C. OBPS details

The B.C. OBPS: 

  • Is designed specifically for industry in B.C. and is mandatory for facilities that emit over 10,000 tCO2e per year
  • Is a carbon pricing model that promotes environmental leadership while fostering competitiveness
  • Follows the federal carbon price path and aids in achieving the Province's goal of reducing emissions by 40 percent by 2030, 60 percent by 2040, and 80 percent by 2050
  • Is a carbon pricing system that applies to industrial emitters. The B.C. OBPS will incentivize industrial emitters to reduce their GHG emissions by using a performance-based system
  • Assesses facilities on an annual basis. Facilities that emit under their annual emission limit will earn credits. For facilities that emit over their emission limit, the B.C. OBPS provides flexible payment options to meet compliance obligations. Flexible payment options include using earned credits, B.C. offsets, or making a direct payment
  • Supports B.C.’s carbon market, which includes the buying and selling of B.C. verified offsets

The Province committed to enhancing our existing carbon pricing system for industry in the CleanBC Roadmap to 2030. Throughout 2022, B.C. engaged with industry, Indigenous Peoples, and equity-seeking groups on the best design for a new system that complies with federal government requirements.

Throughout 2023, the current industrial carbon pricing system, called the CleanBC Program for Industry, will remain in place while we transition to the new OBPS design. Implementation of the B.C. OBPS will take effect on April 1, 2024.

B.C. OBPS resources

For a technical look at the B.C. OBPS components and to access additional resources, see related links: