Prepared: October 15, 1997
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Preliminary estimates from Environment Canada:
However, estimates can be made. Carbon dioxide emissions represent approximately 81 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. Methane represents approximately 12 - 13 per cent and nitrous oxide approximately 5 per cent. Between 1990 and 1995, greenhouse gas emissions increased 9.2 per cent. Carbon dioxide contributed 66.5 per cent of the total increase in greenhouse gas emissions, methane contributed 22.5 per cent of the increase and nitrous oxide contributed 11 per cent of the total increase in emissions of 54,700 tonnes of greenhouse gases. That is, the non carbon dioxide greenhouse gas emissions have been growing faster than emissions of carbon dioxide.
Between 1990 and 1995, per capita emissions increased from 20 tonnes/per capita of greenhouse gases to 21 tonnes/per capita. Greenhouse gas emissions per dollar of gross domestic product increased from 805 kg per thousand (1994$) in 1990 to 816 kg per thousand 1994$ dollars. That is, improvements in energy efficiency are not keeping pace with economic growth - Canada is becoming less efficient, not more and carbon dioxide intensity levels are not improving.
Carbon dioxide emissions in 1996 are: 512,000 kilotonnes, an increase of 48,800 kilotonnes over 1990 emissions of 463,200, or 10.54%. If it is assumed that carbon dioxide represents 70 per cent of the total increase for 1996, greenhouse gas emissions may be as high as 13.7 per cent above 1990 levels. If the carbon dioxide contribution more closely matches its relative contribution overall of 80 per cent, then emissions may be as much as 12.6 per cent above 1990 levels. It is safe to assume that greenhouse gas emissions in 1996 are, at a minimum, 12.6 to 13.7 per cent above 1990 levels and now stand at between 638,442 to 644,679 million tonnes. Population in 1996 was 29,969. On a per capita emissions basis, these increases imply further deterioration with emissions ranging between 21.3 to 21.5 tonnes of greenhouse gases per capita.
For more information, contact:
++Includes carbon dioxide only. Figures are preliminary. Source: Environment Canada.
Emmission Trends 1990-1995
Sources Reviewing the progress made under Canada's National Action Program on Climate Change. Final Report. Resources Futures International. November 1996. Trends in Canada's Greenhouse Gas Emission 1990 - 1995. Environment Canada.
*source: Reviewing progress.. and this source is using 569,000 for 1990, rather than Environment Canada's 567,000. Increase with this source: 52,000. Split the same.
Oil and gas sector: 1990 - 95 106 x m3
1990 - 95
106 x m3
Increased production and exports in the oil and gas sector were the largest factor contributing to increased greenhouse gas emissions. Production increased 35 per cent, while exports doubled. Carbon dioxide and methane emissions stem from the large amounts of energy and electricity used to produce, process and ship oil and natural gas for domestic use and exports. Upstream refining also consumes large amounts of electricity, which in Alberta is coal-fired, also increasing demand and emissions of carbon dioxide.
Improved vehicle technology lowered methane and nitrogen oxide emissions , but the same three-way catalytic converters increased nitrous oxide emissions, a greenhouse gas 320 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Methane emissions are 21 times more power a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, but have a shorter lifetime in the atmosphere: 11 years versus 120 or more for carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.
Gas and diesel Gas and diesel
Gas and diesel
Gas and diesel
Vehicles are becoming more powerful and less fuel efficient. Vehicles are being driven longer distances. North American sales of light-duty gasoline trucks, including vans and four-wheel drive vehicles, have been increasing at a much faster pace than automobile sales in the 1990s. Over the past 20 years, light trucks have doubled their market share of light-duty vehicles in the U.S. Trucks captured a 30 per cent share of the American light-duty market in 1990, 36 per cent in 1993 and 39 per cent in 1995. Similar trends are evident in Canada.
Demand for electricity is increasing, particularly to meet the needs of oil and gas producers. Carbon dioxide emissions are up from both increased demand and from decreasing reliability of nuclear power plants in Ontario and New Brunswick. This increase in emissions follows a significant decrease in 1993 and 1994 in Ontario with the opening of the Darlington nuclear power station. However by 1995, according to Environment Canada, although electricity production showed no growth, fossil fuel's share rose to 20 per cent. That year, nuclear generation was down by 9.4 Twh from the previous year. Hydro power production grew by about 6 Twh to fill part of the gap, but fossil-fuel generation also increased by 5.4 Twh. Nuclear production in 1995 was down about 8.5 Twh from 1994. Even though electricity production in New Brunswick and Ontario was not as high as in 1994, fossil-fuel production still rose by a total of almost 4 Twh.
Trends in 1996
From 1990 to 1995, the greatest growth in greenhouse gas emissions came from methane (18.55%) and nitrous oxide (22.80%), with a lower rate of growth for carbon dioxide emissions (7.9%). If these trends continue to hold true, then greenhouse gas emissions in Canada are likely well above the 10.54 per cent increase shown here for carbon dioxide emissions.
Oil and gas production
According to the British Petroleum Statistical Review 1997, production of oil and natural gas increased 2.4% from 1995 to 1996 for oil and 3.2% for natural gas. Since 1990, BP reports that natural gas production has increased 54 per cent. Since 1990, oil production has increased 23.7 per cent. (For details see attached charts.)
Vehicle sales - Statistics Canada
According to Environment Canada, after 1990 all gasoline vehicles sold in Canada incorporated advanced three-way catalytic converters. As these units age (more than one year), nitrous oxide emissions increase. As a result, each year there are a greater proportion of vehicles on Canadian roads emitting higher levels of nitrous oxide emissions.
According to Statistics Canada, 120,866 new cars and trucks were sold in August 1997, up 21.1 per cent over the same month last year. Truck sales which include minivans, sport utility vehicles, light and heavy trucks, vans, coaches and buses, have been on the rise since mid-1995 and are 25.7 per cent higher than August 1996. StatsCan reports that "consumer preferences for minivans and sport utility vehicles have shifted truck sales into high gear. In the early 1990s, trucks represented about a third of the market share in new motor vehicle sales. In August (1997), they accounted for slightly under half of all sales."
New passenger car sales are 17.3 per cent of August 1996. Passenger car sales declined from the mid-1980s until early 1996 when they began to rise.
Nuclear production continues to be a problem in both Ontario and New Brunswick. The announcement at Ontario Hydro in August 1997 that it would shut 7 nuclear units over the next several months, in fact extends shut downs and reduced capacity utilization already in effect. Emissions in 1996 are up over 1995 emissions. Ontario Hydro emitted 15 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 1995 and 18.1 million tonnes in 1996.
1996 Ontario Hydro emissions from fossil fuel thermal power plants
Carbon dioxide emissions were 10.54 per cent above 1990 levels in 1996. Carbon dioxide emissions represent approximately 81 per cent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Methane represents approximately 12 - 13 per cent and nitrous oxide approximately 5 per cent. Between 1990 and 1995, carbon dioxide contributed 66.5 per cent of the total increase in greenhouse gas emissions, methane contributed 22.5 per cent of the increase and nitrous oxide contributed 11 per cent of the total increase in emissions of 54,700 tonnes of greenhouse gases.
Carbon dioxide emissions in 1996 are: 512,000 kilotonnes, an increase of 48,800 kilotonnes over 1990 emissions of 463,200, or 10.54%. If it is assumed that carbon dioxide represents 70 per cent of the total increase for 1996, greenhouse gas emissions may be as high as 13.7 per cent above 1990 levels. If the carbon dioxide contribution more closely matches its relative contribution overall of 80 per cent, then emissions may be as much as 12.6 per cent above 1990 levels. It is safe to assume that greenhouse gas emissions in 1996 are, at a minimum, 12.6 to 13.7 per cent above 1990 levels.
The Voluntary Challenge and Registry clearly is not working and will not contribute to significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
Canada remains in a state of denial regarding the actions which must be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
1. Electricity reform: Competition in the electricity sector has the potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased supply from independent power producers and cogeneration using natural gas, and renewables from wind, solar and biomass. Policy at a provincial and national level must support reform that requires investment in renewables and demand side management. The goal must be to phase out the use of coal in generating electricity in Canada.
2. Higher fuel economy standards could reduce emissions by 26 million tonnes by 2005. Current fleet averages of 8.2 litres/100 km for cars and 9.5 for light trucks can be improved to 5.0 litres/km and 7 litres/100 km. Research and development must focus on eliminating the internal combustion engine to be replaced by electric, fuel cell or hybrid vehicles.
3. Existing residential and commercial buildings must be retrofitted to higher energy efficiency standards.
4. Green procurement: Industry, business and governments at all levels can reduce costs and create demand for Green Power (electricity from renewables) and for advanced technology vehicles for their fleets.
5. Fiscal policy can be adjusted to increase taxes on carbon-based fuels with revenue used to reduce general taxes such as the Goods and Services Tax or payroll taxes. Tax incentives or rebates can be offered on the purchase of high-efficiency windows, advanced vehicles and Green Power.
See attached Highlights from Rational Energy Program for impacts on emissions and job creation potential from these initiatives.
Prepared by Louise Comeau
October 14, 1997