Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica

Carbon Pricing

Canadian CO2 Emissions: A Perspective

Where are Canadian CO2 Emissions Coming From?

I ended up digging a little bit into Canadian CO2 emissions after my last article, and thought that our readers might find it interesting….

This article relies heavily on the Government of Canada publication titled “Canada’s Emissions Trends,” which the government put together as a response to climate change promises in Copenhagen. Interestingly, it projects that we won’t hit our targets.

I went digging through this dusty publication looking for an idea of where Canada needs to make improvements the most. I found some things that surprised me. For instance, the oil & gas sector in Canada emits 50% more CO2 than the entire electricity sector. In fact, the O&G sector emits 22% of all CO2 emissions in Canada, but only produces 7% of our GDP. Transportation also produces 50% more CO2 than the electricity sector, and barely outshines the O&G sector to be the single largest emitter in Canada. That’s somewhat surprising to me…. I figured our electricity generator to be the largest emitter, like has traditionally been the case in the US, with transportation close behind.

  • A Recap by Sector:
  • Transportation:  166 MT (megatons)
  • Oil and gas:  154 MT
  • Electricity:  99 MT
  • Buildings:  79 MT
  • Industry:  75 MT
  • Agriculture:  69 MT
  • Waste & Other:  50 MT

Where should we focus?

Clearly, the things we should focus on to hit our Copenhagen goals are transportation and the oil & gas sector.

The transportation sector is a no brainer: Deliver stronger incentives for electric vehicles. A federal program for EVs and charging infrastructure would go a long way towards reducing this beast. We should follow Norway’s lead, and we should be able to replicate their success! Electric sales were 14% of new car sales in the first 10 months of 2014. If we provided a $10,000 subsidy to each new electric car sold or leased and hit 12% market penetration, this would cost the country roughly $2 billion. Instead of a regressive tax break that we just got, we could spend the $2 billion on this program, and over the next 6 years, it would cut emissions by a startling 40–50 MT. That’s nearly 30% of overall emissions from this sector.

As for the oil & gas sector, the IISD released a report last year on the effectiveness of regulation on this sector. The most aggressive proposal they have is what they call a 40/40 plan. This means they they will ask for a 40% emissions reduction from the industry, and fine them $40 for every ton of CO2 they emit that’s over the 60% permitted amount. They predict this would result in a 7 MT reduction directly from the industry, 21 MT of reduction from “Low Cost Domestic Reductions,” and 15 MT reductions as a result of funding a tech fund. The idea is that the extra CO2 emitted will go into a fund that will pay for emissions reductions in other sectors, and will help develop technology that will trigger emissions reductions.

This results in an overall savings of 42 MT, at a cost of around $0.49 per barrel. That’s, honestly, a pretty pathetic investment for a massive gain. This is clearly an industry that needs regulated…. Hopefully our next federal government will make big inroads there.

When will we make these efforts?

Together, these two relatively small and inexpensive changes would result in a savings of nearly 90 MT, enough for us to hit our Copenhagen Climate Change promises.

Will we do these? Unfortunately, probably not. Canadians are going to have to work together to make global warming an election issue. We need to send a clear message to our politicians that climate change is a pressing issue, that there are steps we can take now cost effectively, and that we won’t stand for anything else.

Come on, Canada. If we want our hockey rinks to survive in 2020, we’re going to need to put the effort in now! We can do this, but only if we pull together!

 
 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, or ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: How NVIDIA Is Bringing Autonomy To Automakers

Written By

is an EV evangelist, and general automotive enthusiast. His engineering background means he tends to nerd out a bit on the numbers. He focuses primarily on battery technology, wind power, and electric vehicles. If you can't find him running the numbers, or writing, you might find him lifting weights somewhere!

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Clean Power

A new gigascale green steel project in Sweden aims at sprinkling green hydrogen fairy dust on electric vehicles everywhere.

Cars

There's a lot of lithium in the world. There's no particular worries about running short, and many innovators such as E3 are working to...

Batteries

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy recently launched the third and final phase of the Lithium-Ion Battery...

Carbon Pricing

Alberta's crude oil from steam-assisted gravity drainage has a carbon debt just for extraction and in province processing that's as large as the total...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.