Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Province and Territory

Combined greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for Ontario and Quebec were lower in 2012 than in 1990 by about 16 megatonnes (Mt) (10 Mt for Ontario and 6 Mt for Quebec). Emissions in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Colombia were higher in 2012 than in 1990 by 31 Mt, 80 Mt and 11 Mt respectively. The top five emitters (Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan and British Columbia) together released almost 90% of Canada’s national total of 699 Mt of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq) in 2012.

Ontario’s GHG emissions were higher than those from the other provinces in 1990 because of its large manufacturing industry. Alberta’s emissions subsequently surpassed Ontario’s, increasing 47% since 1990, primarily because of the increase in production of petroleum resources for export markets. Ontario’s emissions were reduced between 1990 and 2012 primarily because of the closure of coal-fired electricity generation plants. In 2012, the combined emissions from Alberta and Ontario represented 60% (36% and 24%, respectively) of the national total of 699 Mt.

The provinces of Quebec and British Columbia, which rely on abundant hydroelectric resources for their electricity production, show more stable emission patterns across the time series and a decreasing pattern since 2005. Quebec exhibits an 8.5% (7.3 Mt) decrease from its 2005 emissions level; while British Columbia shows a decline of 3.5% (2.2 Mt). In contrast to these decreases, emissions in Saskatchewan increased by 5.1% (3.7 Mt) between 2005 and 2012, as a result of activities in the oil and gas industry as well as potash and uranium mining.

Greenhouse gas emissions by province and territory, Canada, 1990, 2005 and 2012

Greenhouse gas emissions by province and territory, Canada, 1990, 2005 and 2012

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: Emission levels for some previous years have been revised in light of improvements to estimation methods and availability of new data.
Source: Environment Canada (2014) National Inventory Report 1990–2012: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada.

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