Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions increased by 15 million tonnes between 2017 and 2018, driven by vehicle emissions, oil and gas extraction, and manufacturing, and essentially erasing 13 years of small reductions dating back to 2005.
The 2018 total, contained in the latest national inventory report filed with the United Nations last week, comes in at 729 megatonnes of carbon dioxide or equivalent, compared to 730 Mt in 2005.
“The 2005 figure is important because Canada’s current commitment is to cut emissions to 70% of what they were in 2005 by 2030,” The Canadian Press reports. “Last fall, Canada’s accounting for meeting that 2005 target showed existing policies left the country 77 million tonnes shy of its 2030 goal. This latest report puts the goal even further away.”
CP says vehicles, fossils, and manufacturing accounted for two-thirds of the increase, with much of the growth “offset by a significant drop in emissions coming from cutting back on how much coal Canada uses to produce electricity.” The report shows emissions in Alberta increasing 18%, from 232 to 273 megatonnes, between 2005 and 2018, while falling 19% in Ontario, from 203 to 165 Mt.
Overall, the inventory report has fossil emissions growing by 43 million tonnes over the 13-year span, while a 40% increase in passenger and commercial vehicles produced a 24-megatonne increase. Emissions from international aviation grew 12.5% between 2017 and 2018, from 13.6 to 15.3 Mt, and 50% between 2005 and 2018.
The report says emissions intensity across the economy fell 20% between 2005 and 2018.