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Overview of the Reported 2009 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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3 Effect of Threshold Change, 2008–2009

For the last reporting period (i.e. 2009), the mandatory reporting threshold was lowered from 100 kt CO2 eq to 50 kt CO2 eq. This threshold change resulted in a 49% increase in the number of facilities reporting to the program between 2008 and 2009 (522 for the year 2009, up from 350 for 2008) and the emissions from the new facilities equalled 11 Mt of the total reported emissions or 4% of the 2009 total reported emissions (Table 2).

As expected, the lowering of the mandatory reporting threshold had a significant effect on the number of new facilities reporting for 2009. Of the 159 facilities reporting for the first time, 116 had emissions between 50 and 100 kt. Facilities with emissions in this range were only required to report in 2009. The number of voluntary reporters (i.e. facilities with emissions below 50 kt CO2 eq) also increased to 72 facilities in 2009. The percent difference in reported emissions shown in Table 2 for facilities with emission levels below 100 kt CO2 eq is large in magnitude; however, their relative contribution to the overall emissions total reported in 2009 is minor (about 5%).

Table 2: Effect of threshold reduction, 2008–2009
Emissions Threshold (kt) Number of Facilities % Difference Reported Emissions (kt CO2 eq) % Difference
2008 2009 2008 2009
> 100 297 300 1% 259 201 239 079 -8%
50-100 28 150 - 2 323 10 402 348%
< 50 25 72 - 283 973 244%
Total 350 522 49% 261 807 250 454 -4%

There were decreases experienced in the reported emissions from the Manufacturing and Utilities sectors (8.5 Mt and 10.7 Mt, respectively), while the Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction had a 7.2 Mt increase (Table 3). Potential factors affecting these changes in reported emissions include differences in the number of facilities reporting, variability in production volumes or operations (e.g., plant closures, shutdown periods, and decreases in demand), economic factors or emission reduction efforts.

Table 3: Effect of threshold reduction, by sector, in 2008–2009
Industry Sector, Grouped by NAICS Code Number of Facilities Emissions (kt CO2 eq)
NAICS NAICS Description 2008 2009 2008 2009 Difference
21 Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction 85 148 54 833 62 104 7 270
22 Utilities 82 119 113 106 102 391 -10 715
31-33 Manufacturing 152 205 82 895 74 371 -8 524
Other Other* 31 50 10 973 11 588 615
  Totals 350 522 261 807 250 454 -11 353

* “Other” includes Transportation and Warehousing, as well as Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services industrial sectors

  • An additional 63 Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction facilities reported in 2009, compared to the previous year, and their emissions account for 13% of the overall 7.2 Mt increase in emissions from facilities in this sector.
  • The number of reporting facilities increased by 37 and 53 in the Utilities and Manufacturing sectors; however, the total emissions reported by facilities in these sectors decreased.

Of the six main GHGs of concern—carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, perfluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, and sulphur hexafluoride—being reported on, emissions of both hydrofluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride increased due to their increased use by two facilities. It should be noted, however, that this does not necessarily reflect overall national trends in emissions for these two gases. Facility-reported methane emissions increased by 30%, largely due to 13 landfill facilities that reported for the first time with 2009 emissions. Facility-reported nitrous oxide emissions decreased by 32% as a result of one facility halting production of adipic acid. With CO2 emissions representing the bulk (94%) of reported emissions, these emission changes by gas have a minimal effect on the overall total change.

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