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How does BioCarbon Registry address double counting?

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What double counting is?

BioCarbon Registry defines the meaning of “double counting” as the counting of GHG mitigation results (in tons of CO2e) in the following scenarios:

  • A ton of CO2e is counted more than once to demonstrate compliance with the same GHG mitigation goal.
  • A ton of CO2e is counted to demonstrate compliance with more than one GHG mitigation goal.
  • A ton of CO2e is used more than once to obtain remuneration, benefits, or incentives
  • One ton of CO2e is verified, certified, or accredited assigning more than one serial to a single mitigation result.


© Tom Klauss

What is the relevance of avoiding double counting?

To effectively evaluate the countries' progress to meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement related to reductions in Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions carbon markets and other schemes, it is essential that accounting is transparent. The double-counting of the GHG reductions leads to an erroneous analysis of the real progress regarding the fulfillment of this global objective.

Likewise, the practice of double accounting would result in the overvalued allocation of benefits to projects and countries and would generate an environment of mistrust in carbon markets. Consequently, investment in GHG projects could be affected, and the positive effects of projects in terms of mitigation and adaptation to climate change would be hampered.

How does BioCarbon Registry address double counting?

Avoiding double counting at BioCarbon Registry is a mandatory requirement that prohibits the counting, issuance, and claiming of GHG mitigation results in the scenarios listed above at the national and international levels.

It is also recognized as a good practice based on BioCarbon Registry’s principles: pertinence, total coverage, coherence, accuracy, conservative attitude, and transparency that confers to the Standards credibility.

Various procedures and practices are settled in BioCarbon Registry to ensure avoiding double counting:

1. Registry System and Blockchain Technology

The Registry System is an accounting and custody system for the issuance, transfer, and retirement of VCC (Verified Carbon Credits), that ensures none of the scenarios described above take place by using automatized validation criteria.

The Blockchain technology incorporated in the Registration Platform securely stores all issuance and retirement transactions information. This information is immutable. ProClima’s Blockchain system is part of LACChain, a global alliance integrated by different actors in the blockchain environment and led by the Innovation Laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB LAB) for the development of the blockchain ecosystem in Latin America and the Caribbean. https://www.lacchain.net/projects/BioCarbon-Registry

2. BioCarbon Registry Statement

Once procedures of Validation and Verification have finished, BioCarbon Registry reviews that all project information complies with BioCarbon Registry Standard and applicable methodology.

BioCarbon Registry will issue a GHG Statement ensuring through numeral c) that:

“…c) The project has a positive opinion from the Validation and Verification Body (VVB), informing that the calculation of GHG emission reductions or removals is presented in a pertinent, comprehensive, reliable, comparable, consistent, accurate manner, transparent, conservative, and avoiding double accounting, for the period reported in the verification report…”

3. VCC Serials issuance

During VCC emission, a unique VCC is generated only once for each ton of GHG reduction or removal certified by BioCarbon Registry.

The serial components are determined to ensure that a Ton of CO2e reduced or removed from the environment from a specific, project, type, country, and verification period will not be issued more than once.

4. VCC retirements

During VCC retirement, a VCC can be retired only once, and a unique destination can be chosen. Specific criteria for each market (mandatory or voluntary) are also validated at the retirement moment. Once a VCC is retired, it is automatically discounted and retired from the market.

5. BioCarbon Registry's current and future strategy is to stay aligned with the requirements of the new provisions of the Paris Agreement concerning Article 6, which involves, among others, the accounting framework for the transfer of mitigation results between countries, and even with other schemes and sectors such as international aviation, for example.

6. Registry in RENARE and other schemes

BioCarbon Registry compares and verifies that the information reported in the national accounting systems and other national and international schemes is consistent with the certification granted by BioCarbon Registry and not duplicated. BioCarbon Registry will require the project owner to make the relevant registries and adjustments when necessary.

Technological developments are advancing to promote direct communication between the BioCarbon Registry and national and international schemes.

As a rule, BioCarbon Registry also states that the project cannot register under two or more standards.