Canada’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions took a step back in 2017, according to new figures from Statistics Canada (StatCan).
Industrial GHG emissions rose 1.6% in 2017, following a 2.7% decline in 2016. However, 2017’s rise in emissions did take place during a year of strong economic growth — 3.2% in 2017 compared to 1.0% in 2016. The trends in industrial energy intensity and GHG emissions intensity were also in the right direction. Energy intensity per million dollars of GDP was down 1.2%, and GHG emissions intensity fell by 1.5%.
Among industrial sectors, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction remained the largest source of GHG emissions in 2017, accounting for 23.9% of the national total.
However, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction did not lead the country in energy use. That title fell to the residential sector, which in 2017 accounted for 23.8% of total energy consumption in Canada. The residential sector’s share of GHG emissions was only 18.8%, because a large share of household energy use comes from clean electricity.
Among provinces, oil- and gas-rich Alberta continued to lead the country in total GHG emissions in 2017. Oil and gas extraction was Alberta’s largest producer of GHG emissions, emitting the equivalent of 130 megatonnes of carbon dioxide, up 6.1% from 2016.