Canada’s Emissions Trends

Environment Canada
July 2011

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Cat. No. En84-83/2011E
ISBN 978-1-100-17743-4

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The future path of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada will depend on a number of factors including: government actions, technological change, the growth in the economy, and developments in energy markets. Without incorporating the impacts of future government measures that have not yet been specified, the projections presented in this report are based on expectations of the evolution of key economic and energy drivers (such as the world oil price, gross domestic product, and population growth) derived from a variety of authoritative sources. However, as with any projection of this type, the likely outcome associated with each specific driver is subject to a high degree of uncertainty. As such, the emissions scenarios presented here should be seen as representative of a number of possible greenhouse gas emissions outcomes to 2020, depending on economic and other developments, as well as future government measures.

The analysis presented in this report incorporates the most up-to-date statistics on GHG emissions and energy availability at the time that the technical modeling was completed in December 20101, and is based on scenarios of emissions projections using a detailed, proven Energy, Emissions and Economy Model for Canada. In developing this analysis, we have consulted with industry experts on the detailed results, and have engaged external experts for peer review of overall results and methodologies. Annex 4 contains a brief comparison of the historical emission data shown in this report with other recent Environment Canada publications.

These consultations included provincial and federal government departments, who were provided with detailed modelling results in the Fall, 2010 and invited to provide their input and suggestions for improvement. Environment Canada also worked with industry associations to improve the alignment of the projections with their key assumptions. Wherever possible, the feedback received from these consultations has been incorporated into the emissions scenarios presented here.

In addition, the majority of core data and assumptions received from sector experts and authorities for the modelled emissions scenarios has already been subjected to rigorous consultations. For example, Natural Resources Canada has extensive consultation processes in place to ensure their assumptions of energy demand and supply growth are robust, with the input they have provided to Environment Canada reflecting those consultations.

In addition to consultations, the projections have included a peer review by a panel of experts. In the peer review, the experts assessed the projections on their reasonableness and robustness, reviewed the key macroeconomic and energy-related assumptions (e.g. the assumed rate of growth in oil and gas sector activity in Canada, the evolution of Canada's electricity generation and transportation sectors), and made suggestions on how to continue improving the methodology in future rounds. The input from the peer review was incorporated into this report, and into plans for future emissions analysis and modelling work at Environment Canada.

Questions and requests for further information on the analysis underlying this report should be directed to:

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Tables and Figures



1 Emissions inventory data used for this analysis is derived from Canada’s 2010 National Inventory Report on Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks which includes emissions from 1990-2008.


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