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Indicators of Well-being in Canada


Environment - Greenhouse Gases

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Changes to the physical climate not only affect the natural landscape, but also human health and well-being. Naturally occurring greenhouse gases (GHG) help regulate the Earth's climate by trapping heat in the atmosphere and reflecting it back to the surface. Over the past 200 years, increased atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation, have amplified this process. Scientists have concluded that a doubling of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere would lead to serious consequences for the world's social, economic, and natural systems. Climate change also presents risks to human health where there are associated increases in heat stress, respiratory illnesses, and the transmission of insect- and waterborne diseases.

GHG emissions are measured here using either megatonnes or tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. One megatonne (Mt) is equal to one million tonnes. The term carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq) refers to the quantity of a given GHG multiplied by its global warming potential and is a standard measure for GHG emissions.[1]

Summary

  • National Picture — In 2005, GHG emissions in Canada were estimated at 747 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2 eq), up 25% from 1990.  
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Person — Emissions per person rose 7.6% from 1990 to 2005.
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Unit of Real, inflation adjusted, GDP — When taken as a proportion of real (inflation adjusted) Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which is a basic measure of the level of economic activity, levels of GHG emissions fell 17.8% between 1990 and 2005. 
  • Regions — GHG emissions increased for all provinces and territories between 1990 and 2005, with the exception of Yukon, where emissions levels dropped slightly. 
  • International Picture — Canada had the second highest level of GHG emissions per person among G7 countries in 2005 (22.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per person).

National Picture

Canada's greenhouse gas emissions were an estimated 747 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2 eq) in 2005. These emissions have increased 25% since 1990, when they were estimated to be 596 Mt CO2 eq.


This Chart contains data for Greenhouse gas emissions, Canada, 1990-2005. Information is available in table below 2005 = 747 2004 = 747 2003 = 745 2002 = 720 2001 = 714 2000 = 721 1999 = 695 1998 = 683 1997 = 677 1996 = 664 1995 = 646 1994 = 628 1993 = 608 1992 = 607 1991 = 589 1990 = 596 (megatonnes carbon dioxide equivalent) Greenhouse gas emissions, Canada, 1990-2005

Source: Environment Canada, Greenhouse Gas Division. National Inventory Report 1990-2005: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada. Ottawa, Environment Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. En81-4/2005E). Environment Canada, Statistics Canada, and Health Canada. Canadian Environment Sustainability Indicators 2007. Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. 16-251-XIE).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Greenhouse gas emissions, Canada, 1990-2005 (megatonnes carbon dioxide equivalent)
1990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005
596589607608628646664677683695721714720745747747

Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Person

Although Canadians make up only 0.5% of the global population. Canada's share of global greenhouse gas emissions is approximately 2%[2]. The increase in total greenhouse gas emissions in Canada (25%) outpaced population growth (17%) between 1990 and 2005. Emissions per person rose, 7.6% from 1990 levels, reaching 23 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per person in 2005.


This Chart contains data for Greenhouse gas emissions, per person, Canada, 1990-2005. Information is available in table below 2005 = 23.14 2004 = 23.37 2003 = 23.52 2002 = 22.96 2001 = 23.02 2000 = 23.49 1999 = 22.86 1998 = 22.65 1997 = 22.64 1996 = 22.43 1995 = 22.03 1994 = 21.65 1993 = 21.21 1992 = 21.4 1991 = 21.03 1990 = 21.52 (tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent) Greenhouse gas emissions, per person, Canada, 1990-2005

Source: Environment Canada, Greenhouse Gas Division. National Inventory Report 1990-2005: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada. Ottawa, Environment Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. En81-4/2005E). Environment Canada, Statistics Canada, and Health Canada. Canadian Environment Sustainability Indicators 2007. Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. 16-251-XIE).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Greenhouse gas emissions, per person, Canada, 1990-2005 (tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent)
1990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005
21.5221.0321.421.2121.6522.0322.4322.6422.6522.8623.4923.0222.9623.5223.3723.14

Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Unit of Real, inflation adjusted, GDP

In 2005, GHG emission levels reached a low of 0.69 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per billion dollars of real (inflation adjusted) GDP. Canada's total greenhouse gas emissions per unit of real (inflation adjusted) GDP decreased 17.8% from 1990 to 2005. This means that more goods were manufactured and more commercial activity occurred for each tonne of greenhouse gases emitted.


This Chart contains data for Greenhouse gas emissions per unit of real, inflation adjusted, GDP, Canada, 1990-2005. Information is available in table below 2005 = 0.69 2004 = 0.71 2003 = 0.74 2002 = 0.73 2001 = 0.74 2000 = 0.76 1999 = 0.78 1998 = 0.80 1997 = 0.83 1996 = 0.85 1995 = 0.84 1994 = 0.83 1993 = 0.84 1992 = 0.86 1991 = 0.85 1990 = 0.84 (megatonnes of CO2 equivalent per $billion real GDP) Greenhouse gas emissions per unit of real, inflation adjusted, GDP, Canada, 1990-2005

Note: GDP in 1997 constant dollars.

Source: Environment Canada. Greenhouse Gas Division. National Inventory Report 1990-2005: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada. Ottawa, Environment Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. En81-4/2005E). Environment Canada, Statistics Canada, and Health Canada. Canadian Environment Sustainability Indicators 2007. Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. 16-251-XIE).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Greenhouse gas emissions per unit of real, inflation adjusted, GDP, Canada, 1990-2005 (megatonnes of CO2 equivalent per $billion real GDP)
1990199119921993199419951996199719981999200020012002200320042005
0.840.850.860.840.830.840.850.830.800.780.760.740.730.740.710.69

Regions

Greenhouse gas emissions vary from region to region based on a variety of factors such as climate, travel patterns, and levels of economic activity, including energy production. From 1990 to 2005, total levels of GHG emissions rose in all provinces and territories except Yukon, where they dropped slightly. 

In 2005, the provinces with the highest levels of GHG emissions were Alberta (233 Mt CO2 eq), which accounted for 32% of Canada's total emissions, and Ontario (201 Mt CO2 eq), at 27% of the national total. Alberta also reported the highest per capita emissions, at 72 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per person.

The lowest levels of carbon dioxide equivalent were observed in Yukon (0.4 megatonnes), Northwest Territories and Nunavut (1.6 megatonnes), and Prince Edward Island (2.3 megatonnes). Quebec reported the lowest per capita emissions, at 11.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per person, while the Yukon had the next lowest level of per capita emissions, at 13 tonnes per person.


This Chart contains data for Greenhouse gas emissions, by region, 1990 and 2005. Information is available in table below YT (2005) = 0.4 YT (1990) = 0.6 NT&NU (2005) = 1.6 NT&NU (1990) = 1.5 BC (2005) = 65.9 BC (1990) = 50.6 AB (2005) = 233.0 AB (1990) = 170.0 SK (2005) = 70.9 SK (1990) = 44.1 MB (2005) = 20.3 MB (1990) = 18.0 ON (2005) = 201.0 ON (1990) = 175.0 QC (2005) = 89.4 QC (1990) = 85.3 NB (2005) = 21.3 NB (1990) = 16.2 NS (2005) = 22.7 NS (1990) = 19.5 PE (2005) = 2.3 PE (1990) = 2.1 NL (2005) = 10.5 NL (1990) = 9.9 (megatonnes carbon dioxide equivalent) Greenhouse gas emissions, by region, 1990 and 2005

Source: Environment Canada, Greenhouse Gas Division. National Inventory Report 1990-2005: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada. Ottawa, Environment Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. En81-4/2005E). Environment Canada, Statistics Canada, and Health Canada. Canadian Environment Sustainability Indicators 2007. Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. 16-251-XIE).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Greenhouse gas emissions, by region, 1990 and 2005 (megatonnes carbon dioxide equivalent)
NLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCNT&NUYT
19909.92.119.516.285.3175.018.044.1170.050.61.50.6
200510.52.322.721.389.4201.020.370.9233.065.91.60.4

This Chart contains data for Greenhouse gas emissions per person, by region, 2005. Information is available in table below YT = 13.0 NT&NU = 21.0 BC = 15.5 AB = 71.0 SK = 71.6 MB = 17.3 ON = 16.1 QC = 11.8 NB = 28.3 NS = 24.3 PE = 16.5 NL = 20.4 CAN = 22.9 (tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent) Greenhouse gas emissions per person, by region, 2005

Source: Environment Canada, Greenhouse Gas Division. National Inventory Report 1990-2005: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada. Ottawa, Environment Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. En81-4/2005E). Environment Canada, Statistics Canada, and Health Canada. Canadian Environment Sustainability Indicators 2007. Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. 16-251-XIE).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Greenhouse gas emissions per person, by region, 2005 (tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCNT&NUYT
22.920.416.524.328.311.816.117.371.671.015.521.013.0

International Picture

In 2005, GHG emissions per person among G7 nations ranged from a high of 24.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in the United States to a low of 9.1 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in France. Canada had the second highest level of GHG emissions per person at 22.9 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Of the G7 nations, only Canada and United States had per person emissions levels that were above the G7 average of 16.8 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.


This Chart contains data for Greenhouse gas emissions, per person, G-7 countries, 2005. Information is available in table below United States = 24.2 Canada = 22.9 Germany = 12.2 United Kingdom = 10.9 Japan = 10.6 Italy = 9.9 France = 9.1 G-7 = 16.8 (tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent) Greenhouse gas emissions, per person, G-7 countries, 2005

Source: HRSDC calculations based on: GHG emissions levels: United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). Table 4. National greenhouse gas inventory data for the period 1990-2005 and status of reporting. Document code FCCC/SBI/2007/30. October 24, 2007. Population figures: OECD. Statistics OECD. http://stats.oecd.org/WBOS/Default.aspx?QueryName=254&QueryType=View (accessed December 11, 2007).


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Greenhouse gas emissions, per person, G-7 countries, 2005 (tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent)
G-7FranceItalyJapanUnited KingdomGermanyCanadaUnited States
16.89.19.910.610.912.222.924.2

Footnotes

  1. For more information, see Environment Canada, Greenhouse Gas Division. National Inventory Report 1990-2005: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada. Ottawa, Environment Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. En81-4/2005E).

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  2. For more information, see Environment Canada, Greenhouse Gas Division. National Inventory Report 1990-2005: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada. Ottawa, Environment Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. En81-4/2005E). Environment Canada, Statistics Canada, and Health Canada. Canadian Environment Sustainability Indicators 2007.  Ottawa, Statistics Canada, 2007 (Cat. No. 16-251-XIE).

    [Back to Text]

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Date Modified:
2014-10-25