The B.C. Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy (the Ministry) has released the latest draft of the B.C. Forest Carbon Offset Protocol 2.0 (the Protocol). The Protocol is the long-awaited updated version of the first version of the Protocol which was introduced in 2011 and repealed in 2015. The Protocol is expected to enable new forest carbon offset projects in B.C. This bulletin briefly summarizes key updates to the Protocol and related proposed amendments to the Greenhouse Gas Emission Control Regulation (the Regulation).

The Protocol contains both a methodology for carrying out certain emission offset projects that remove emissions with forest sinks and reservoirs, and guidance associated with such projects. In addition, the Protocol creates legal requirements that project proponents, validation bodies, and verification bodies must follow for the proponent to obtain offset units under the Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act.

The Ministry noted that the Protocol has several substantial changes from earlier draft versions including:

  • further refined eligibility;
  • reporting and maintenance requirements; and
  • the addition of further guidance, equations, tools and definitions.

The Ministry also announced the following proposed amendments to the Regulation to be brought into force prior to the publishing of the Protocol:

  • creating and clarifying definitions regarding the identification and treatment of reversals during the crediting period;
  • distinguishing between “avoidable reversals” and “unavoidable reversals”, defining each as follows:
        • “avoidable reversals” are reversals where the project proponent substantially increased the risk that the reversal would occur by failing to comply with commitments to maintain carbon sequestration levels that are set out in project plans, or requirements to maintain carbon sequestration set out in protocols or covenants, or the project proponent failed to take appropriate measures in relation to the avoidance of the risk that the reversal would occur;
        • “unavoidable reversals” are reversals that are not avoidable;
  • making rules regarding the replenishment of the contingency account when this account has been drawn down due to an unavoidable reversal;
  • requiring proponents of forest carbon projects to regularly submit project reports and monitoring reports for contiguous periods for the entirety of the crediting period and monitoring period;
  • requiring reporting of events causing reversals, including an assessment of whether the reversal is avoidable or unavoidable; and
  • requiring project proponents to provide replacement offset units, or direct retirement of a number of offset units that are equal to an avoidable reversal, helping to ensure that there are sufficient offset units in the pooled contingency account to insure against unavoidable reversals.

Interested stakeholders are encouraged to submit written comments or questions on the Protocol and proposed amendments to the Regulations within the 30-day consultation period that commenced on February 16, 2023.

For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at


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