Developing emission offset projects

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Regulatory requirements

Proponents should review offset regulatory requirements prior to planning projects or considering investment decisions.

Accepted projects in B.C. must meet criteria established in the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act (GGIRCA), the Greenhouse Gas Emission Control Regulation and relevant approved protocols.


A protocol is a set of instructions on how to quantify greenhouse gas emission reductions from a project.  The measurement, monitoring and reporting requirements for B.C.’s protocols follows ISO 14064-2 standards for Quantification, Monitoring, and Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions or Removal Enhancements.

Only protocols that have been established under GGIRCA can be used to prepare a proposed project.

Approved protocols

  • Fuel Switch ProtocolApplicable to projects that reduce emissions through energy conservation, energy efficiency and switching to lower carbon fuels.

In Development

Development of new protocols will focus on project types that advance B.C.’s climate goals and support a transition to a low carbon economy.

The identification of project types for protocol development will be guided by the following principles:

  • Alignment with current priorities, sustainable development goals and existing policy
  • Technological readiness and monitoring, reporting and verification methodology
  •  Maximizing the market value of B.C. offset units
  •  Prioritizing opportunities of greatest impact

Project types under development

In keeping with the development principles above, the following project types have been identified as priorities:

  • Forest Carbon Offset Protocol (FCOP), includes:
    • Afforestation/Reforestation​
    • Conservation/Improved forest management​
    • Avoided conversion

Posted for 60-day public consultation from March 30, 2021 to May 31, 2021

  • Methane Management Offset Protocol (MMOP), includes:
    • Landfill gas management
    • Organic waste diversion
    • Anaerobic digestion (landfill, wastewater and manure)

Posted for 60-day public consultation from June 3, 2021 to August 3, 2021

Calls for the development of project types other than those on the priority list are not being accepted at this time.

Prior to the director’s approval, all draft protocols and guidance documents are posted for a public review and comment period. Please send any comments to

The project plan

The project plan sets out the purpose, project boundary, baseline scenario, and selected emission sources, sinks and reservoirs for the project in accordance with the regulation and protocol. The plan also identifies the length of time the project will be eligible to create offsets. This time or crediting period may be up to 25 years for sequestration projects and up to 10 years for other project types, unless specified otherwise by the protocol.

Validating the project plan

Project proponents must have the completed plan validated by an accredited validation body.

Validation bodies review the project following criteria established in the act, regulation and protocol. Successful validation provides assurance from an accredited third party that the project plan is fair, reasonable and meets the requirements of the act. Before performing a validation, validation bodies must demonstrate they are not in a conflict of interest (see section 16 of the GHG Emission Control Regulation).

Submitting the project plan for acceptance

A validator submits a validated project plan and its validation statement through the BC Carbon Registry to the director for review. When accepted, the validated project plan and related validation documents are published on the BC Carbon Registry.