Canada
Overview of carbon emissions produced by Canada
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What percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions does Canada produce?

Canada produces 1.6% of global emissions, and has been ranked the world’s 9th largest emitter of greenhouse gases since 1990. Since this date, their annual emissions have increased by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 0.84%.

Summary – GHG Emissions in Canada

CountryCanada
Population38.2m
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in USD$1.99tr
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions in 2019774m
Change in Emissions since 2018-0.3%
Percentage of Total Emissions (2019)1.6%
Rank – Emitters in 20199
Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions since 199024.1bn
Compound Annual Growth – Emissions since 19900.84%
Percentage of Total Emissions (1990-2019)2.1%
GDP Per Capita (USD)$52.1k
Emissions Per Capita20.2
6435da7b6e8d3e11eafad89c Canada and ten largest%2520emitters since 1990

In the last recorded year (2019), Canada was the world’s 9th largest producer of yearly carbon dioxide emissions and contributed 1.6% of all global emissions. The top three emitters in the same period were China, the United States, and India. These three nations produced 25.2%, 12%, and 7% of global emissions respectively.

641ce7bc6a84db99f36f9222 Canada change in emissions 1990 to present

In 2019, Canada emitted 774m metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, or MtCO₂e. This represented a decrease in emissions from 2018 by -0.3%.

Emissions per capita in Canada – average household carbon footprint

The population of Canada is 38.2m. On a per capita basis, they produce 20.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per person. This places them 15th out of 191 on emissions produced per capita. The top three emitters per capita are Solomon Islands, Qatar, and Kuwait.

What is the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada?

In 2019, Canada produced 737m metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. This was a reduction of -0.14% from 2018. 78.7% of these emissions came from CO2, 13.8% came from CH4, and 5.6% came from N2O.

The sector that produced the most emissions in 2019 was the energy industry. Energy produced 639m of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This amounted to 86.7% of total GHG in Canada. The second and third largest emitting sectors were agriculture and land-use change and forestry- producing 7.8% and 5.1% of total GHG respectively.

Energy

The industry that produced the most energy related emissions was the electricity/heat sector, emitting 213m tonnes of greenhouse gas. The second and third largest emitting sectors were transportation and building – producing 197m and 80.6m tonnes of GHG each.

Land Use Change and Forestry

Land use change and forestry (LUCF), such as deforestation and conversion of natural ecosystems to agricultural or urban areas, can have a significant impact on carbon emissions.

  • Trees and other vegetation absorb and store carbon through the process of photosynthesis, and when they are cut down or burned, that stored carbon is released into the atmosphere.
  • Deforestation and other forms of land use change can also reduce the ability of ecosystems to absorb and store carbon in the future. Additionally, the conversion of land for agriculture or urban development can lead to the release of carbon stored in the soil.
  • On the other hand, sustainable forestry practices, such as reforestation and afforestation, can help to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in trees and other vegetation.

In the case of Canada, their LUCF had a negative impact on their emissions, increasing their footprint by 37.4m tonnes.

After accounting for land use change and forestry, the total amount of greenhouse emissions in Canada in 2019 was 774m metric tonnes.

Is there a correlation between greenhouse gas emissions and economic growth?

In 2019, gross domestic product (GDP) in Canada grew by 0.97% from the previous year. Measured in US dollars, the economy went from $1.73tr to $1.74tr. In the same period carbon emissions decreased by -0.28%. Over a ten year period from 2009 to 2019, GDP grew by 26.7%, while emissions have decreased by -18.9%.

To put this into context, the compound annual growth rate of GDP in Canada over the previous ten years was 2.4% and the CAGR for greenhouse gas emissions was -2.1%.

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