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    Canada’s GHG emissions up in 2022, but remain below pre-pandemic levels


Natural gas sector impact on emissions continues to fall relative to oil.

by: Dale Lunan

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Americas, Political, Ministries, Environment, News By Country, Canada

Canada’s GHG emissions up in 2022, but remain below pre-pandemic levels

Canada’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions edged slightly higher in 2022 compared to 2021, Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) said May 2 in its latest National Inventory Report (NIR), but remain below 2019 levels, the last year of economic activity before pandemic-related slowdowns.

Total GHG emissions in 2022 were estimated at 708mn tonnes, up from 698mn tonnes in 2023 but below the 750mn tonnes emitted in 2019. Emissions in 2002 were 745mn tonnes and increased to a peak of 777mn tonnes in 2007.

Emissions intensity Canada-wide – GHG emissions per dollar of GDP – has declined by 42% since 1990, ECCC said, while per capita emissions have fallen from 24 tonnes in 2005 to 18 tonnes in 2022, comparable to US per capita emissions.

“Canada’s climate policies are starting to pay off,” said Chris Severson-Baker, executive director of the Calgary-based Pembina Institute, an environmental think-tank. “It appears the suite of measures introduced by the government of Canada over the last several years is starting to make a notable dent in our overall emissions.”

But while emissions in 2022 were 7% lower than 2005 levels, he said there is much work to do to ensure they are reduced to 40%-45% below 2005 levels by 2030, Ottawa’s next target milestone on its way to net zero by 2050.

“The NIR shows that Alberta remains the worst performer overall since 2005, with emissions rising by 7.4%,” Severson-Baker said. “Although today’s data shows that the successful regulation of methane emissions from oil and gas production is beginning to have a positive effect, emissions from the province’s oilsands sector are continuing to grow.”

Oil sands sector emissions in 2022 were 87mn tonnes, the NIR shows, representing 40% of all emissions from Canada’s oil and gas industry. Emissions from natural gas production were 60mn tonnes, but in 2022 were 15mn tonnes lower than in 2005, while oil sands sector emissions were 51mn tonnes higher.