Forest Protocol


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The Protocol is the long-awaited updated version of the first version of the Protocol which was introduced in 2011 and repealed in 2015.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…