Emission offsets are generated by projects that have voluntarily reduced their greenhouse gas emissions. Emission offsets are quantified using Alberta-approved methodologies called quantification protocols, and are verified by a third party in accordance with the Standard for Validation, Verification and Audit.
Emission offset projects must meet the requirements in the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) regulation, the Standard for Greenhouse Gas Emission Offset Project Developers, and a relevant Alberta-approved quantification protocol.
Emission offsets are registered and listed on the Alberta Emissions Offset Registry operated by CSA Group.
Standards and guidance
- Carbon Offset Emission Factors Handbook (version 2.0) Offset projects initiated on or after January 1, 2020 must use version 2.0 of the Handbook. Refer to the Standard for Greenhouse Gas Emission Offset Project Developers for further guidance.
- Standard for Greenhouse Gas Emission Offset Project Developers (version 3.0) Version 3.0 becomes effective for use January 1, 2020. This includes submission of Project plan forms and Project report forms provided as Appendix A and Appendix B of version 3.0 of the standard.
- Standard for Validation, Verification and Audit (version 4.0) Starting January 1, 2020, the Albert Emissions Offset Registry will only accept verification reports completed in accordance with version 4.0 of the Standard for Validation, Verification and Audit.
- Offset Verification Report Template (version 3.0) (DOCX, 107 KB) Starting January 1, 2020, the Alberta Emissions Offset Registry will only accept verification reports completed using Offset Verification Report Template (version 3.0).
- Technical Guidance for Offset Protocol Development and Revision
- Technical Guidance for the Assessment of Additionality
- Aerobic Composting
- Aerobic Landfill Bioreactor
- Agricultural Nitrous Oxide Emission Reductions
- Biofuel Production and Usage
- Conservation Cropping Protocol
- CO2 Capture and Permanent Storage in Deep Saline Aquifers
- Distributed Renewable Energy Generation
- Emissions Reductions from Dairy Cattle
- Energy Efficiency Projects
- Energy Generation from the Combustion of Biomass Waste
- Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions from Pneumatic Devices
- Landfill Gas Capture and Combustion
- Low-Retention, Water-Powered Electricity Generation as Run-of-the-River or an Existing Reservoir
- Reduced Age at Harvest of Beef Cattle
- Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fed Cattle
- Selection for Low Residual Feed Intake Markers in Beef Cattle
- Solar Electricity Generation
- Waste Heat Recovery
- Wind-Powered Electricity Generation
The following protocols are flagged, which means that a project developer cannot initiate or implement an emission offset project without written authorization from the director.
For more information on applying to the director to use a flagged protocol, please see the Standard for Greenhouse Gas Emission Offset Project Developers.
- Anaerobic Decomposition of Agricultural Materials (Version 1)
- Anaerobic Treatment of Wastewater Projects (Version 1.0)
- Engine Fuel Management and Vent Gas Capture
- Enhanced Oil Recovery (Version 1)
- Enhanced Oil Recovery – Streamlined (Version 1)
- Solution Gas Conservation (Version 1.0)
To obtain background information that supports the protocols, please contact the Regulatory and Compliance Branch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The following protocols are withdrawn, which means that no new projects can be initiated using these protocols. For information on withdrawn protocols, see the Standard for Greenhouse Gas Emission Offset Project Developers.
- Acid Gas Injection (Version 1)
- Aerobic Composting (Version 2.0)
The Quantification Protocol for Aerobic Composting Version 2.0 has been withdrawn and replaced with the Quantification Protocol for Aerobic Composting Version 3.0.
- Conversion of Drilling Rigs from Diesel-Electric to High Line Electricity Source (Version 1.0)
- Direct Reductions in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Arising from Changes in Forest Harvest Practices (Version 1.0)
- Energy Efficiency for Commercial and Institutional Buildings (Version 1.0)
- Energy Efficiency Projects (Version 1)
- Energy Generation From the Combustion of Biomass Waste (Version 2.0)
- Engine Fuel Management and Vent Gas Capture (Version 1.0)
- Fuel Switching in Mobile Equipment (Version 1.0)
- Gravel and Lightly Surfaced Road Rehabilitation Projects (Version 1)
- Including Edible Oils in Cattle Feeding Regimes (PDF, 25 KB)
- Innovative Feeding of Swine and Storing and Spreading of Swine Manure (PDF, 25 KB)
- Instrument Gas to Instrument Air Conversion in Process Control Systems (Version 1.0)
The Quantification Protocol for Instrument Gas to Instrument Air Conversion in Process Control Systems has been withdrawn and replaced with the Quantification Protocol for Greenhouse Gas Reductions from Pneumatic Devices effective January 25, 2017.
- Landfill Gas Capture and Combustion (Version 2.0)
- Modal Freight Shifting
- Nitrous Oxide Abatement from Nitric Acid Production (Version 1.0)
- Non-Incineration of Thermal Waste Conversion (Version 1.0)
- Reducing Days on Feed of Beef Cattle (Version 2.0)
The Quantification Protocol Reducing Days on Feed of Beef Cattle has been replaced with the Quantification Protocol for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Fed Cattle.
- Substitution of Bitumen Binder in Hot Mix Asphalt Production and Usage (Version 1.0)
- Tillage System Management
The Quantification Protocol for Tillage System Management (February 2009) has been replaced with the Quantification Protocol for Conservation Cropping (March 2012) effective January 1, 2012 for offset credits generated in 2012 and forward.
- Waste Heat Recovery Projects (Version 1)
- Waste Heat Recovery – Streamlined (Version 1)
Documents for comment
Alberta's protocol development process is outlined in the Technical Guidance for Offset Protocol Development and Revision. As part of the development and revision process, draft protocols are posted for a 30-day public comment period.
Drafts previously posted
Comments no longer accepted.
- Draft Quantification Protocol for Biogas Production and Combustion (PDF, 1 MB)
- Memo to Stakeholders – Conservation Cropping Additionality Assessment (PDF, 56 KB)
Notices and updates
- Flagging of the Quantification Protocol for Engine Fuel Management and Vent Gas Capture (Version 2.0) (PDF, 54 KB)
- Alberta Emissions Offset System Protocol Revision and Withdrawal (PDF, 35 KB)
- Interaction of Emission Offsets and Rebates from Energy Efficiency Alberta (PDF, 32 KB)
- Flagging Solution Gas Protocol (PDF, 26 KB)
- Carbon Offset Emission Factors Handbook (PDF, 108 KB)
- Notice of Change of Registry Service Provider for the Alberta Emission Offset Registry (PDF, 82 KB)
- Notice of Change for Global Warming Potentials (PDF, 41 KB)
- Ownership Requirements for First Nations Projects (PDF, 24 KB)
- Clarification on Eligibility Requirements for Aggregated Tillage Projects on First Nations Lands (PDF, 50 KB)
- Notice of Final Deadlines for Claiming Historic Offset Credits (PDF, 2.5 MB)
- Reminder on Third Party Verification and Audits Requirements (PDF, 1 MB)
- Notice of Eligibility Requirements for First Nations Tillage Management Projects (PDF, 2 MB)
- Ownership Requirements for Aggregated Tillage Management Projects (PDF, 48 KB)
- Notice to Aggregators Regarding Aggregation of Offset Credits Generated on First Nations and Metis (PDF, 2 MB)
- 2019 TIER Emission Offsets Webinar presentation (PDF, 1 MB)
- Year End 2018 CCIR Compliance Workshop presentation (PDF, 2 MB)
- 2018 CCIR Compliance Workshop presentation (PDF, 1 MB)
- 2017 SGER Compliance Workshop presentation (PDF, 308 KB)
- 2016 Specified Gas Emitters and Reporting Workshop presentation (PDF, 3 MB)
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