Greenhouse gas emission offset projects

B.C. offset projects drive clean economic opportunities while cutting emissions.

What is an offset?

An offset is a tradable credit that is used to counterbalance – or offset – greenhouse gas emissions. A B.C. Offset Unit represents a tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent that was either removed from the atmosphere or not released into the atmosphere as the result of direct, beyond business-as-usual action by a project proponent. These actions are validated and verified by an independent, accredited third-party to ensure they are real, permanent and additional.

Organizations that have an obligation or desire to offset their greenhouse gas emissions can purchase B.C. offset units to meet emissions reduction or net-zero targets. Investing in B.C. offset units helps finance incremental emissions reductions and removals in B.C.

How do offset projects work under B.C. regulations?

To have their reductions recognized as B.C. Offset Units, projects must meet provincial regulations and requirements outlined in a Director-approved offset protocol. Independent validators and verifiers provide third-party reviews to ensure the resulting offsets are verifiable and incremental. The Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy provides regulatory oversight.

By purchasing offsets, regulated operations under the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act and public sector organizations can satisfy their legislative requirements. Voluntary purchasers can use B.C.’s high-quality offsets to meet their own sustainability targets.

Offset projects are managed through the BC Carbon Registry. Proponents, validators and verifiers, regulated operations and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy use the registry to post project-related documents and to issue, transfer and retire offset units.

What does developing and managing offset projects entail under the B.C. framework?

Developing a new offset project involves:

  1. Assess feasibility by reviewing regulations, approved protocols and project economics
  2. Creating a project plan
  3. Validating the plan
  4. Submitting the plan for acceptance

Managing an existing project involves:

  1. Monitoring project activity
  2. Producing regular project reports
  3. Seeking verification of the reports
  4. Applying for the issuance of offset units

Once offset units are issued, they can be managed in the BC Carbon Registry, transferred to other parties or sold to other organizations.

GGIRCA Bulletins

Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act (GGIRCA) Bulletins contain important legal information that may be relevant for your offset project. Bulletins are published and amended regularly on the Bulletins, Legislation and Guidance webpage.