The Climate Action Reserve is developing a U.S. and Canada Biochar Protocol that will provide guidance on how to quantify, monitor, report, and verify climate benefits from the production and use of biochar, which is capable of locking up carbon and keeping it from re-entering the atmosphere for centuries. Biochar production provides an opportunity for the productive use of a variety of feedstocks that are otherwise considered waste biomass, including non-merchantable residues from timber harvests and fuel thinnings.
The U.S. and Canada Biochar Protocol is being developed through the Reserve’s multi-stakeholder workgroup process. The Reserve strives to create a well-balanced workgroup consisting of industry representatives, project developers, environmental NGOs, verification bodies, independent consultants, academia, and government bodies.
Workgroup member organizations are listed below:
|ACT Commodities||Placer County Air Pollution Control District|
|Aster Global||Sonoma Ecology Center|
|Biochar Solutions||South Pole|
|Blue Forest Conservation||SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry|
|Cornell University||U.S. Forest Service|
|International Biochar Initiative||University of California-Berkeley|
|GECA Environment||Viresco Solutions Inc.|
|Humboldt State University, Schatz Energy Research Center||Woodwell Climate Research Center|
|Pacific Biochar||World Resources Institute|
Stakeholders not chosen to be part of the workgroup are encouraged to participate in the process as “observers.” Observers may attend workgroup meetings in listen-only mode, submit written comments on the draft methodology when it is available for public comment, and attend the public webinar held during the public comment period.
Biochar Workgroup Meeting 7: Protocol Draft (April 27, 2023)
Biochar Workgroup Meeting 6: Protocol Draft (April 26, 2023)
Biochar Workgroup Meeting 5: Protocol Draft (April 25, 2023)
- U.S. and Canada Biochar Protocol V1.0 – Draft for workgroup review
- Eligible Biochar Feedstocks List – Draft for workgroup review
- Eligible Biochar End Uses List – Draft for workgroup review
Biochar Workgroup Meeting 4: End Use Eligibility and Permanence (December 15, 2022)
Biochar Workgroup Meeting 3: Baseline Setting (December 6, 2022)
Biochar Workgroup Meeting 2: Feedstock Eligibility and Sustainability Standards (November 17, 2022)
Biochar Workgroup Meeting 1 (November 4, 2021) and Follow Up Meeting (November 16, 2021)
The Reserve hosted a public webinar on August 12, 2021 to kickoff the U.S. and Canada Biochar Protocol development process.
Market Analysis and Pilot Projects
A biochar market analysis evaluating the potential scale of credits that can be produced from biochar and the anticipated demand for such credits was developed by Blue Forest, who is also providing financial support for the analysis courtesy of funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, with advisory services provided by Daniel Sanchez, Assistant Specialist in Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California-Berkeley.
Additionally, several pilot projects (provided by Pacific Biochar, Biochar Solutions, and additional biochar producers yet to be determined) will be developed alongside the protocol to test viability of offset project requirements.
The following timeline will be updated as the protocol development process unfolds.
|Protocol kickoff webinar||August 12, 2021|
|Workgroup SOIs due||August 27, 2021|
|Formation of workgroup||September 2021|
|Reserve staff begins to draft protocol||November 2021|
|First general workgroup meeting||November 2021|
|Second general workgroup meeting||November 2022|
|Third general workgroup meeting||December 2022|
|Fourth general workgroup meeting||December 2022|
|Fifth, sixth, and seventh general workgroup meeting||April 2023|
|Public comment period||September/October 2023 (tentative)|
|Protocol presented to Reserve Board for approval||January 2024 (tentative)|
Partial funding support for the development of the U.S. and Canada Biochar Protocol, market analysis, and pilot projects was provided by a Wood Innovations Grant from the USDA Forest Service and a Forest Health Grant from CAL FIRE.
This project was funded in part by the U.S. Forest Service Wood Innovations Program.
Also funded in part by CAL FIRE.
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.
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Please contact the Reserve with questions or comments.