Carbon Dioxide Emissions from a Consumption Perspective

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This indicator provides a view of the emissions tied to the goods and services Canadians consume compared with those they produce. Footnote [1]

Between 1995 and 2004, Canada's consumption-based carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were lower than its production-based emissions.Footnote [2] Canada was thus a net exporter of CO2 emissions to other countries during that period.

Since 2005, Canada's consumption-based CO2 emissions have been higher than those from production, making the country a net importer of CO2 emissions. This change can be partly attributed to an increase in imports from developing countries, such as China, that produce goods using a mix of energy sources that are more emissions-intensive than Canada's.

In 2011, the latest year with available data, Canada's consumption-based emissions were 579 megatonnes, or 8% above its production-based emissions.

Production- and consumption-based carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion, Canada, 1995 to 2011

Line chart showing production and consumption-based CO2 emissions in Canada. See long description below.

Long description

The line chart shows production- and consumption-based carbon dioxide emissions in megatonnes in Canada. The area below production-based emissions and above consumption-based emissions represents net exports of emissions. The area below consumption-based emissions and above production-based emissions represents net imports of emissions.

Data for this chart
Production- and consumption-based carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion, Canada, 1995 to 2011
YearProduction-based emissions (megatonnes of carbon dioxide)Consumption-based emissions (megatonnes of carbon dioxide)Net emissions exports (megatonnes of carbon dioxide)Net emissions imports (megatonnes of carbon dioxide)
1995460.1420.639.5n/a
1996475.2431.343.9n/a
1997491.8461.030.8n/a
1998495.9464.931.0n/a
1999507.5473.733.8n/a
2000528.2490.737.6n/a
2001519.9481.938.1n/a
2002526.1490.435.7n/a
2003548.7526.921.8n/a
2004543.1536.86.3n/a
2005548.7553.0n/a4.3
2006540.6563.3n/a22.7
2007569.6588.3n/a18.7
2008554.8578.8n/a24.0
2009520.4548.9n/a28.5
2010531.9576.2n/a44.2
2011537.2579.4n/a42.2

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: n/a = not applicable. Values for production- and consumption-based emissions presented in this indicator differ from Canada's official accounting of production-based greenhouse gas emissions. Canada's official accounting of greenhouse gas emissions can be found in the National Inventory Report: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada.
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2015) OECD production- and consumption-based CO2 emissions estimates.

Comparison of Carbon Dioxide Emissions Embodied in International Trade

A country can be considered a net exporter of CO2 emissions when its production-based CO2 emissions are higher than its consumption-based emissions. When the reverse is true, the country is a net importer of CO2 emissions. The worldwide sums of net exports and net imports of CO2 emissions are equal.

Production- and consumption-based emissions data is available for the 1995 to 2011 period. During that time, China and the Russian Federation were net exporters of CO2 emissions with China's CO2 exports more than tripling. The United States, the European Union and other member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,Footnote [3] were major net CO2 importers for the whole period, except Canada which became a net importer in 2005. The European Union and the United States' increased their imports.

Canada's economy represents 2% to 3% of the world economy and less than 2% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, and as seen in the graph, Canada represents a relatively small portion of CO2 emissions embodied in global trade.

Difference between production- and consumption-based emissions, selected countries and regions, 1995 to 2011

Line chart showing net exports (positive values) and net imports (negative values) of CO2 emissions by selected countries and regions. Long description below.

Long description

The line chart shows net exports (expressed as positive values) and net imports (expressed as negative values) of carbon dioxide emissions in megatonnes by selected countries and regions for the years 1995 to 2011. The countries and regions included are Canada, China, the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union (28), other members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the rest of the world. Net carbon dioxide emissions exports represent a situation where production emissions are higher than consumption emissions. Net carbon dioxide emissions imports represent a situation where production emissions are lower than consumption emissions. 

Data for this chart
Difference between production- and consumption-based emissions, selected countries and regions, 1995 to 2011
YearChina (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Russian Federation (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Rest of world (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Canada (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Other OECD (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)United States (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)European Union (28) (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)
1995316.5521.614.539.5-314.8-155.7-421.8
1996346.4481.826.643.9-307.5-177.0-414.3
1997339.1422.328.530.8-261.7-200.0-358.9
1998316.7560.4161.731.0-196.6-362.5-510.7
1999272.0771.8243.033.8-254.1-426.2-640.3
2000331.4827.1352.837.6-328.7-529.4-690.7
2001312.7736.5401.038.1-294.5-535.8-658.0
2002358.1699.9402.735.7-277.2-599.2-619.9
2003481.6704.0429.021.8-303.6-627.7-705.0
2004724.4632.4411.76.3-349.0-695.9-729.8
2005953.3646.7356.6-4.3-417.0-770.1-765.2
20061176.6585.1271.0-22.7-414.4-814.0-781.6
20071237.0492.7174.0-18.7-394.9-664.2-825.9
20081196.6514.4117.9-24.0-401.7-557.7-845.5
2009871.0484.487.6-28.5-248.9-484.4-681.1
2010965.2513.066.8-44.2-330.5-509.5-660.8
2011995.7531.851.1-42.2-376.6-498.2-661.5
Consumption-based carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion, selected regions, 1995 to 2011
YearChina (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Russian Federation (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Rest of world (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Canada (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Other OECD (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)United States (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)European Union (28) (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)
19952705.01036.64652.0420.62736.45286.04294.3
19962744.11044.14761.8431.32819.25472.94404.3
19972723.81003.54938.5461.02831.35674.34262.5
19982822.7855.54871.7464.92721.65831.34419.0
19992768.3683.74903.0473.72861.55923.14482.2
20002978.7669.34964.8490.73043.26220.74548.4
20013083.5761.35039.4481.93000.46206.44592.2
20023247.2787.15217.3490.43036.86197.74527.5
20033695.3813.95420.1526.93104.46301.14721.1
20044112.8876.85740.2536.83203.76456.64744.8
20054449.7865.36034.3553.03306.26540.74759.7
20064736.9981.86384.1563.33336.46498.84784.8
20075079.91074.36822.1588.33424.06427.34779.9
20085294.91072.07217.5578.83356.16144.64716.1
20095924.1994.57393.7548.93145.05665.54251.3
20106289.31067.87802.8576.23356.55934.54343.8
20116960.61122.28041.2579.43512.15784.44211.9
Production-based carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion, selected regions, 1995 to 2011
YearChina (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Russian Federation (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Rest of world (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Canada (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)Other OECD (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)United States (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)European Union (28) (megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions)
19953021.61558.24666.6460.12421.65130.33872.5
19963090.51525.94788.4475.22511.75296.03990.0
19973062.91425.74966.9491.82569.65474.33903.6
19983139.41415.95033.5495.92524.95468.83908.2
19993040.41455.55146.0507.52607.45496.93841.9
20003310.11496.45317.6528.22714.55691.33857.6
20013396.21497.85440.5519.92705.95670.63934.1
20023605.31487.05620.0526.12759.65598.43907.6
20034176.81517.85849.1548.72800.75673.34016.1
20044837.21509.26151.9543.12854.75760.74015.0
20055403.01512.06390.9548.72889.25770.63994.5
20065913.51567.06655.0540.62922.05684.84003.1
20076316.91567.06996.1569.63029.15763.13954.0
20086491.51586.47335.4554.82954.45586.93870.5
20096795.11478.97481.3520.42896.05181.13570.2
20107254.51580.87869.5531.93026.15425.03683.0
20117956.31654.08092.2537.23135.55286.13550.4

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How this indicator was calculated

Note: OECD = Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Totals may not add up due to rounding. Values for production- and consumption-based emissions presented in this indicator differ from Canada's official accounting of production-based greenhouse gas emissions. Canada's official accounting of greenhouse gas emissions can be found in the National Inventory Report: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada. (28) refers to the 28 member states of the European Union as of May 2016. The OECD's inter-country input-output system includes discrepancies in the trade data. In this table, emissions allocated to these inter-country input-output system discrepancies are included in the "rest of the world" region. This ensures that global CO2 production equals global CO2 consumption. Countries in the "Other OECD" group include Australia, Chile, Iceland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey. Please note that while Latvia is a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, it is not represented individually in the source data. Latvia is therefore included in the estimate for the rest of the world.
Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (2015) OECD production- and consumption-based CO2 emissions estimates.

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