National Inventory Report 1990-2010: Executive Summary
ES.3 Overview of Source and Sink Category Emissions and Trends
The primary GHG emitted from anthropogenic activities in 2010 was CO2, which contributed 79% of Canada’s total emissions (Figure S-4 and Table S-1). The majority of these emissions result from the combustion of fossil fuels. Methane (CH4) accounted for 13% of Canada’s total emissions, resulting from activities in the IPCC sectors of Agriculture and Waste, as well as fugitive emissions from oil and natural gas systems. Nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from activities such as agriculture soil management and transport accounted for 7% of the emissions. Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) constituted the remainder of the emissions (slightly more than 1%).
Figure S-4: Canada’s Total Emissions Breakdown 2010, by Greenhouse Gas
Table S-1: Canada’s GHG Emissions 1990–2010, by Greenhouse Gas
|Mt CO2 equivalent|
|National GHG Total||589||718||740||726||751||731||690||692|
|HFCs, PFCs & SF6||11||10||10||9||8||9||9||9|
|Note: Totals may not add up due to rounding.|
Using the definitions based on the IPCCcategorization, the Energy Sector produced the majority of Canada’s GHG total emissions in 2010, at 81% or 562 Mt, with energy emissions resulting from stationary combustion sources, transport and fugitive sources. The remaining 19% of total emissions was largely generated by sources within the Agriculture Sector (8% of total emissions) and Industrial Processes Sector (7%), with minor contributions from the Waste Sector (3%) and Solvent and Other Product Use Sector (Figure S-5 and Figure S-6). The Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Sector was a net source of 72 Mt in 2010; however, in accordance with UNFCCC reporting guidelines, these emissions are excluded from national inventory totals. Table S-2 provides additional details about Canada’s emissions and removals by IPCC sector for the years 1990, 2000, 2005 and up to 2010. Further breakdowns by subsector and gas and a complete time series can be found in Annex 12.
Figure S-5: Canada’s Emissions Breakdown 2010, by IPCCSector[i]
[i]The contribution from the Solvent and Other Product Use Sector to the national total is 0.03%; however, due to the rounding of numbers in Figure S-5 this contribution shows as zero.
Table S-2: Canada’s GHG Emissions 1990 2010, by IPCCSector
|Greenhouse Gas Categories||1990||2000||2005||2006||2007||2008||2009||2010|
|Mt CO2 equivalent|
|a.||Stationary Combustion Sources||279||345||343||329||353||335||315||308|
|Electricity and Heat Generation||92||128||124||117||126||114||98||101|
|Fossil Fuel Production and Refining||50||67||68||67||66||62||64||53|
|Mining & Oil and Gas Extraction||6.7||12.2||19.7||22.0||31.1||32.3||34.6||38.2|
|Commercial & Institutional||25.7||33.1||36.7||33.7||34.7||35.1||29.8||28.4|
|Agriculture & Forestry||2.4||2.5||2.0||1.9||2.2||2.2||2.7||3.3|
|Civil Aviation (Domestic Aviation)||7.1||7.4||7.6||7.8||7.7||7.3||6.4||6.2|
|Navigation (Domestic Marine)||5.0||5.1||6.4||5.8||6.3||6.0||6.6||6.7|
|Oil and Natural Gas||40.2||62.1||62.3||63.6||62.1||61.1||58.0||57.6|
|d.||Production and Consumption of Halocarbons and SF6||1.0||3.2||5.5||5.3||5.7||5.8||6.5||7.3|
|e.||Other & Undifferentiated Production||7.6||8.6||15.0||17.0||17.0||15.0||15.0||15.0|
|SOLVENT & OTHER PRODUCT USE||0.18||0.45||0.38||0.33||0.33||0.34||0.26||0.24|
|d.||Field Burning of Agricultural Residues||0.21||0.12||0.04||0.04||0.04||0.05||0.05||0.03|
|a.||Solid Waste Disposal on Land||17||19||20||21||21||20||20||20|
|LAND USE, LAND-USE CHANGE AND FORESTRY||-67||-62||54||65||51||-17||-12||72|
|LAND USE, LAND-USE CHANGE AND FORESTRY|
|Activities under the Kyoto Protocol|
|Afforestation / Reforestation||NA||NA||NA||NA||NA||-0.74||-0.80||-0.86|
1National totals exclude all GHGs from the Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry Sector.
2 These summary data are presented in more detail in Annex 12.
Emissions are also allocated on the basis of the economic sector from which they originate, to the extent possible, for the purposes of analyzing trends and policies (Figure S-6 and Table S-3). For example, emissions are categorized by economic sectors for the report Canada’s Emissions Trends, which provides an outlook for emissions trends to the year 2020.
More information on the IPCC and economic sector definitions and trends, as well as a detailed cross-walk between categories is provided in Chapter 2, Table 2-14.
Figure S-6: Canada’s Emissions Breakdown 2010, by Economic Sector
Table S-3: Canada's GHG Emissions 1990 2010, by Economic Sector
|Mt CO2 equivalent|
|NATIONAL GHG TOTAL||589||718||740||726||751||731||690||692|
|Oil and Gas||100||150||160||161||165||160||161||154|
|Emissions-intensive & Trade-exposed Industries1||96||88||90||89||90||87||74||75|
|Waste & Others2||49||50||48||46||48||47||47||50|
|Note: Totals may not add up due to rounding.|
Estimates presented here are under continual improvement. Historical emissions may be changed in future publications as new data become available and methods and models are refined and improved.
1 The Emissions-intensive Trade-exposed Industry sector represents emissions arising in mining activities, smelting and refining, and the production and processing of industrial goods such as paper or cement.
2. "Others" includes Coal Production, Light Manufacturing, Construction & Forest Resources.
ES.3.1 1990–2010 Trends Overview, IPCC Sectors
Almost all of the emission changes since 1990 are attributable to six major areas: the fossil fuel (coal, oil and gas) industries,transport, electricity generation, manufacturing,commercial/institutional and agriculture. The relative contribution of each of these has varied somewhat, depending on the time period. The long-term (1990–2010) trend of emission growth has been driven primarily by the fossil fuel industries and transport whereas the short term (2005–2010) emission decline has been driven by electricity generation and manufacturing.
Between 1990 and 2010 the fossil fuel industries and transport were each responsible for about 49% of the total 102-Mt growth in emissions. Major increases in oil and gas production (much of it for export), as well as a large increase in the number of motor vehicles, especially light-duty gasoline trucks (vans, SUVs and pick-ups) and heavy-duty diesel vehicles (commercial transport trucks) have contributed to the significant rise in GHG emissions.
Emissions from the manufacturing area fell by about 19 Mt (17%), counteracting the dominant rising trend. Fuel-switching, efficiency and technology improvements, and reductions in manufacturing output (especially in the Pulp and Paper and Iron and Steel subsectors) resulted in the emission reductions.
Electricity generation was responsible for a 9.0-Mt increase in emissions between 1990 and 2010. In this period, electricity generation rose by about 25% and the amount of fossil-fuel-based electric generation within the generation mix grew even more, both contributing to the emission growth.
Agriculture was responsible for about a 9-Mt increase in emissions between 1990 and 2009, largely the result of increasing use of fertilizers and greater numbers of beef cattle and swine.
Though greenhouse gas emissions rose by 17% between 1990 and 2010, Canada’s economy grew much more rapidly. Between 1990 and 2010, GDP rose by 61% (Table S-4). As a result, the emission intensity for the whole economy (GHG per GDP) has improved considerably, dropping by 27%. There have been some variations over time, however.
Table S-4: Trends in Emissions and Economic Indicators, Selected Years
|Total GHG (Mt)||589||639||718||740||726||751||731||690||692|
|Change Since 2005 (%)||NA||NA||NA||NA||-1.9||1.5||-1.2||-6.8||-6.5|
|Change Since 1990 (%)||NA||8.5||21.9||25.6||23.3||27.5||24.1||17.1||17.5|
|GDP - (Billions 2002$)||825||899||1101||1248||1283||1311||1320||1284||1325|
|Change Since 2005 (%)||NA||NA||NA||NA||2.8||5.1||5.8||2.9||6.2|
|Change Since 1990 (%)||NA||8.9||33.3||51.2||55.5||58.9||60.0||55.5||60.5|
|GHG Intensity (Mt/$B GDP)||0.71||0.71||0.65||0.59||0.57||0.57||0.55||0.54||0.52|
|Change Since 2005 (%)||NA||NA||NA||NA||-4.6||-3.4||-6.6||-9.4||-11.9|
|Change Since 1990 (%)||NA||-0.4||-8.6||-16.9||-20.7||-19.7||-22.4||-24.7||-26.8|
|GDP: Statistics Canada - Table 384-0002 - Expenditure-based, annual, chained (billions)|
In the early 1990s, energy prices were low (EIA 2004) and this significantly limited the economic incentives to improve energy efficiency. Between 1990 and 1994, emission intensity remained stable (see Figure S-2), with emissions rising nearly in step with economic growth (which was strengthening after a recession in the early 1990s). In this time frame, emissions and GDP both rose by about 11%. Beginning in 1995, however, there was a decoupling of GDP and emissions.
The trend in the years since the late 1990s demonstrates a decline in the rate of increase of GHG emissions (even if the steep drop in 2009 is ignored). From 1990 to 2000 the average annual growth in emissions was 2.1%, while in contrast, between 2000 and 2008, the average annual emission growth was 0.3%.
ES.3.2 2005–2010 Trends Overview, IPCCSectors
Since 2005, total Canadian GHG emissions have decreased by 48 Mt (6.5%). Fluctuations in emission levels since 2005 are due primarily to changes in the mix of sources used for electricity production, changing emissions from fossil fuel production, and varying demand for heating fuels.
Figure S-7: Emission Trends for 2005–2010, Broken Down by Major Area
Figure S-7 shows the major contributors to emission trends. Overall, emissions from electricity and heat generation dropped by 22 Mt since 2005, primarily the result of a reduction of generation by fossil fuel (coal and oil) sources and improved efficiencies. Emissions from electricity generation have fluctuated recently; in some areas of the country coal power usage has increased, while it has decreased in others. For example, in Ontario efforts have been made to reduce coal-fired generation of electricity (in 2005 Lakeview generating station was shut down and by 2010, four units at other stations had also been permanently taken out of service). At the same time, fossil fuel generation varied with the availability of electricity from hydro, nuclear and, to some extent, wind power and solar energy sources. In fact, renewable energy sources are becoming more prevalent: by 2010 wind, tidal and solar power plants in Canada produced a total of about 10 000 GWh of electricity, or 1.6% of total generation.
Emissions from manufacturing decreased by 17 Mt (15%) between 2005 and 2010, due to significantly lowered production. In 2009 the value of exported Canadian industrial goods and machinery fell by about 30% compared to 2008 (Statistics Canada 2011d).
In the commercial and institutional subsector, emissions fell by about 8 Mt over the period. In 2010, heating degree-days, an indicator of the necessity for space heating in response to the severity of cold weather, were down about 6% as compared to 2005. This served to reduce fossil fuel consumption and the emissions associated with it.
The fossil fuel industries showed a decrease of about 5.5 Mt (3.4%) in GHG emissions between 2005 and 2010. This was primarily due to a 17% decrease in natural gas production and an ongoing trend of declining conventional light and heavy crude oil production. This was partially offset by a 48% increase in crude bitumen and synthetic crude oil from Canada’s oil sands.
In contrast to these reductions, transport (not including pipelines) GHG emissions rose by 7 Mt (3.6%) between 2005 and 2010. The emission reductions brought on by reduced commercial vehicle activity in 2008–2009 were almost completely negated as increased economic activity brought emission levels back close to 2007 levels. In fact, emissions rose by about 9 Mt between 2009 and 2010. Most of this increase occurred in diesel transport. Emissions from both heavy-duty diesel on-road vehicles for shipping, and off-road vehicles (for industry) rose, primarily a result of increased activity in the areas of coal mining (where production went up 8%), construction (where sector GDP rose 8%) and forestry (where sector GDP grew 7%).
ES.3.3 IPCC Subsectors
Energy - 2010 GHG Emissions (562 Mt)
In 2010, GHG emissions from the IPCCEnergy Sector declined by 38 Mt (about 6.3 %) when compared to 2005. Similar to the national trend, this decline was primarily driven by Electricity and Heat Generation and the Manufacturing Industries.
Public Electricity and Heat Generation emissions shrank by 22 Mt (about 18%) from 2005 levels. Between 2005 and 2010, however, there were large emission variations that were the primary cause of the fluctuation in national emissions during this period (see Section ES.2, "Summary of National GHGEmissions and Trends"). Decreased electricity demand contributed significantly to the decrease in emissions between 2008 and 2009. GHG emissions from Manufacturing Industries dropped by 8.7 Mt (15%) between 2005 and 2010, due to significantly lowered production. In this period, the GDP for manufacturing dropped by 16%.
By far the largest portion of Canada’s total emission growth is observed in the Energy Sector. The long-term Sector emission trends (1990–2010) showed both declines and increases, for a net growth of 94 Mt, or 20%. As described above in Section ES.2, most of the growth in national emissions is observed in the fossil fuel industries, transportation, and to some extent electricity, all of which fall under the Energy Sector. The fossil fuel industries registered a net increase of about 50 Mt of GHG emissions from 1990 to 2010 (47% growth). These emissions are related to coal mining and the production, transmission, processing, refining and distribution of all oil and gas products.
By 2010, total production of crude oil and natural gas had increased by 60% over 1990 levels. However, the oil sands industry has been reducing its per-unit emissions, and in 2010 intensity was 26% lower than in 1990. This reduction in GHG intensity is significant, as larger and larger portions of production are derived from oil sands.
Most transportation emissions in Canada are related to Road Transport, which dominated the GHG growth trend in this area. Emissions from Road Transport rose by 37 Mt (38%) between 1990 and 2010.
The primary source of this net trend of rising emissions is the increase in the number of passenger-kilometres travelled (more people drove further) (NRCan 2009). However, it was the passenger-kilometres driven by light trucks that increased, while those driven by cars decreased.
Emissions from heavy-duty diesel vehicles (large freight trucks) rose by 20 Mt between 1990 and 2010, a 101% increase.
Electricity and Heat Generation also saw increases in emissions. Rising demand for electricity caused GHG emissions to grow by 9.0 Mt between 1990 and 2010, with significant fluctuations. In 2010, total electricity generation was approximately 115 TWh (terawatt-hours), or 23% above the 1990 level (Statistics Canada 2011a). Starting in the mid-1990s, the GHG emissions associated with coal-fired electricity generation progressively increased, and subsequently decreased between 2002 and 2009. In fact, electricity emissions have been largely on a downward trend since 2007.
Industrial Processes - 2010 GHG Emissions (52 Mt)
The Industrial Processes Sector generally covers GHG emissions arising from non-energy sources such as limestone calcination (CO2) in cement production, or the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs) as replacement refrigerants for ozone-depleting substances (ODSs). The Sector has declined 4 Mt since 1990. In 2010 there was an increase of 1.4% from the 2009 level. Production increases were observed in the iron and steel, cement and chemical industries (except for adipic acid manufacturing, which was discontinued). Of note in this sector is the rapid increase in emissions from use of HFCs as refrigerants in place of ODSs, an increase of 1.8 Mt (34%) since 2005.
In the Metal Production category, CO2 emissions from the production of iron and steel have been decreasing since the early 1990s, despite moderate increases in steel production in Canada up to 2008; 2009 saw a large reduction in production followed by a partial comeback in 2010. This reflects a reduction in emission intensities achieved by the steel industry’s increased use of recycled steel (compared to pig iron production, which is a carbon intensive process). The aluminium industry, while increasing its production by almost 100% since 1990, shows a reduction of its process emissions by 29%. The reduction in overall chemical industries’ GHGemissions from process activities, of 60% between 1990 and 2010, is a combined result of the closure of the adipic acid plant in Ontario, partly offset by increases in emissions from the Ammonia Production and Nitric Acid Production categories.
Agriculture - 2010 Emissions (56 Mt)
Canadian agriculture can be differentiated into livestock and crop production components. The livestock industry is dominated by beef but also has large swine, dairy and poultry components. Crop production is mainly dedicated to the production of cereal and oil seeds. A wide variety of specialty crops and animals are produced, but represent a very small portion of the overall agricultural economy.
Emissions directly related to animal and crop production accounted for 56 Mt CO2 eq or 8.0% of total 2010 GHG emissions for Canada, an increase of 9 Mt CO2 eq or 19% since 1990. Agriculture accounts for 24% and 72% of the national CH4 and N2O emissions, respectively.
The main drivers of the emission trend in the Agriculture Sector are the expansion of the beef cattle and swine populations, and increases in the application of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers in the Prairies.
Overall, the relative proportion of emissions coming from livestock has remained above 60% of total agricultural emissions, except very recently. From 2005 to 2007, emissions from the Agriculture Sector stabilized, with declines in emissions from livestock production being compensated for by increases in emissions from crop production. Since 2008, crop emissions have remained stable, and with the continued decline in livestock populations, agriculture emissions are approximately 2 Mt lower in 2010 than peak levels in 2005.
Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry - 2010 (Net Source of 72 Mt)
The Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) Sector reports GHG fluxes between the atmosphere and Canada’s managed lands, as well as those associated with land-use change. In contrast with other inventory estimates, GHG emissions and removals from Canada’s managed lands can include very large fluxes from non-anthropogenic events. All emissions and removals in the LULUCF Sector are excluded from the national totals.
In this sector, the net GHG flux is calculated as the sum of CO2 emissions to, and removals from, the atmosphere, plus non CO2 emissions. In 2010, this net flux amounted to emissions of 72 Mt, which would have increased the total Canadian GHG emissions by about 10%. Trends in the LULUCFSector are primarily driven by those in forest land, cropland and forest conversion.
The net flux in forest land displays an important interannual variability due to the erratic pattern of forest wildfires, which masks underlying patterns of interest in the Sector. Important subsectoral trends associated with human activities in managed forests include a 27% increase in the carbon removed in harvested wood biomass between 1990 and the peak harvest year of 2004. Since then, significant reductions in forest management activities have occurred, with a 42% decline in harvest levels, which in 2010 reached their lowest point for the two decades covered by this report (31 Mt C). Nonetheless, the immediate and long-term effect of major natural disturbances in managed forests, notably the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation in western Canada, will undoubtedly continue to dominate the apparent trend.
Waste - 2010 Emissions (22 Mt)
The primary source category in the Waste Sector is CH4 Emissions from Solid Waste Disposal on Land, which accounted for about 91% of the GHG emissions from this sector. The CH4 emissions from publicly and privately owned municipal solid waste landfills make up the bulk of emissions in the Solid Waste Disposal on Land category (about 88%). A smaller part (about 12%) comes from pulp and paper and saw mill industries that landfill wood residues on-site; this practice is declining as markets for wood residues build up.
Since 1990, the overall emissions from the Sector grew by 17%, mostly from increases in emissions from landfill operations. The amount of landfill gas (LFG) captured increased by 81% to 349 kt of CH4 in 2010; 51% of the LFG was utilized in energy applications and the rest was flared. The number of landfill sites with LFG capture systems is rapidly rising in Canada, with 68 such systems in operation in 2010 (about a 45% increase since 2005).
Wastewater treatment and waste incineration facilities in Canada are minor sources of CH4 and N2O emissions and have generally stayed stable.
3Throughout this report, the word “Sector” generally refers to the activity sectors as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for national greenhouse gas inventories. Exceptions occur when the expression “economic sectors” are used in reference to the Canadian context.
4“Fossil fuel industries” comprise the sum of the subsectors of Mining and Oil and Gas Extraction, Fossil Fuel Production and Refining, Pipelines (Transportation), and Fugitive Releases.
5The “Transport” subsector refers to Transportation minus Pipelines.
6“Manufacturing” includes the Manufacturing Industries subsector (in the Energy Sector) and the Industrial Processes Sector.
7By October 2010, 8 of 19 operating coal units in Ontario had been shut down (“McGuinty Government Permanently Shuts Down Four More Coal Units”, Ontario Government website, Oct. 1, 2010, Available online at http://news.ontario.ca/mei/en/2010/10/moving-ontario-from-dirty-coal-to-a-clean-energy-future.html, accessed on March 1, 2012).
8Source: Statistics Canada, CANSIM 127-0008 (2005-2010).
9Source: Adapted from a) Environment Canada, National Climate Data and Information Archive, available online at http://climate.weatheroffice.gc.ca/advanceSearch/searchHistoricData_e.html?timeframe=1&Prov=XX&StationID=9999&Year=2009&Month=12&Day=16and b) Statistics Canada 2006 Census data products, available online at http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2006/dp-pd/index-eng.cfm; see Chapter 2.
10Source: Alberta Energy Resources Conservation Board, ST98; see Chapter 2.
11Source: Industrial Sector GDP tables, Informetrica, Ottawa, January 27, 2011.
12Public Electricity and Heat Generation includes all utility generation (as reported to Statistics Canada). As defined by the IPCC, this category does not include industrial cogeneration.
13This estimate is derived from an aggregate combination of sources that may change as more information and methodological refinements become available.
- Date Modified: