Offset protocols

Last updated: September 13, 2023

An offset 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 follow ISO 14064-2 standards for quantification, monitoring, and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions reductions or removal enhancements.

Only protocols that have been established under Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act (GGIRCA) can be used to prepare a proposed project.

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Offset protocol policy

B.C.’s Offset Protocol Policy (OPP) lays out a set of straightforward steps for the development and maintenance of B.C.’s offset protocols. It is designed to increase transparency and support development of a diverse suite of protocols that deliver real, quantifiable, verifiable, permanent, and additional emissions reductions and/or removals in B.C.

This document outlines government’s policy on how B.C. offset protocols will be:

  • Identified and prioritized for development
  • Developed
  • Periodically reviewed
  • Amended or deactivated

Approved protocol

Methane from Organic Waste Protocol

The Methane from Organic Waste Protocol (PDF, 671KB) is applicable to projects that reduce methane emissions through landfill gas management or anaerobic digestion of organic wastes.

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. 

Proposed protocol development ideas should align with the criteria for prioritization outlined in the Offset Protocol Policy (PDF, 378KB). Prior to governmental approval, all draft protocols and guidance documents are posted for a public review and comment period.

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

Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Protocol

The CCS Protocol is applicable to projects that allow for the sequestration of captured carbon in B.C. through either:

  • Injecting and permanently storing captured carbon in a storage reservoir within a storage complex, or
  • Chemically transforming captured carbon into a compound or form that is capable of permanently storing captured carbon

For public consultation information, see B.C. Offset Program consultations.

Forest Carbon Offset Protocol (FCOP)

FCOP includes:

  • Afforestation / reforestation
  • Conservation / improved forest management
  • Avoided conversion

For public consultation information, see B.C. Offset Program consultations.

Under review

Approved protocols may be reviewed to assess whether they continue to be consistent with GGIRCA and serve the shared interests of the offset program and project owners.

Changes in the regulatory climate as well as new developments in the scientific literature and quantification best practices will be monitored to identify any risks or issues that may arise that warrant a protocol review. The process of reviewing a protocol is outlined in the Offset Protocol Policy.

Notice of the decision to review will be posted online and accompanied by a bulletin outlining the rationale for the review.

Fuel Switch Offset Protocol (FSOP)

The purpose of this protocol is to enable projects that reduce emissions through:

  • Energy conservation
  • Energy efficiency
  • Switching to lower carbon fuels

FSOP is undergoing a review to ensure that all credits issued under this protocol will be high-quality, with reduced risk of non-additionality credits being generated.

A bulletin notifying offset project proponents and validation bodies that the FSOP is under review in accordance with the Offset Protocol Policy (OPP) has been published. Offset project proponents and validation bodies are recommended to postpone development or validation of new offset projects under the FSOP until this review is concluded.