Progress Toward Canada's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Target

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Canada's annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are expected to be between 749 and 790 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2 eq) in 2020 and between 765 and 875 Mt CO2 eq in 2030, without taking into account the contribution of the land use, land-use change and forestry sector (LULUCF). These projections are found in Canada's Second Biennial Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (PDF; 2616 KB). Greenhouse gas emissions under the reference or "with current measures"; scenario are projected to be 768 Mt CO2 eq in 2020 and 815 Mt CO2 eq in 2030. These projections are based on historical data and actions taken by governments, consumers and businesses up to 2013, as well as the future impacts of policies and measures put in place as of September 2015.

Oil and gas prices and economic growth are key drivers of GHG emissions trends in Canada. Because these drivers can be quite volatile, sensitivity analysis is presented through alternative scenarios (low and high), reflecting different assumptions about oil and natural gas prices and production as well as different rates of economic growth.

Historical greenhouse gas emissions and projections to 2030 with measures as of September 2015, Canada, 2005 to 2030

Line Chart

Long description

The line chart shows the greenhouse gas emissions and projections for the years 2005 to 2030. The line between years 2005 to 2013 shows historical emissions. Starting in 2014, the middle line represents the reference or "with current measures" scenario, and the bottom and top lines represent alternative scenarios. The Canadian targets for 2020 and 2030 are also shown (622 and 524 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent respectively).

Data for this chart
Historical greenhouse gas emissions and projections to 2030 with measures as of September 2015, Canada, 2005 to 2030
YearHistorical emissions
(megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)Footnote [A]
Reference scenario
(megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)
High emissions scenario
(megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)
Low emissions scenario
(megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)
Canada's targets
(megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent)
2005749
2006740
2007761
2008741
2009699
2010707
2011709
2012715
2013726
2014727725726
2015736743734
2016748754744
2017755766748
2018761775748
2019764782749
2020768790749622
2021770800750
2022774811751
2023783823754
2024789831755
2025793840754
2026798850759
2027801858759
2028807867762
2029812875765
2030815875765524

Download data file (Excel/CSV; 1.41 KB)

How this indicator was calculated

Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada (2015) National Inventory Report 1990–2013: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada. Environment and Climate Change Canada (2016) Second Biennial Report to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (PDF; 2616 KB).

The future rate of GHG emissions in Canada depends on a number of factors, including the pace of expected economic and population growth, the development of energy markets and their influence on prices, technological change, consumer behaviour, and policies aimed at emissions reductions.

Related information


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This indicator is used to measure progress toward Target 1.1: Climate Change Mitigation – Relative to 2005 emission levels, reduce Canada's total GHG emissions 17% by 2020 of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy 2013–2016.

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