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Environment Fact Sheets: Household food consumption and Canadian greenhouse gas emissions, 2015

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Released: 2019-10-09

In 2015, Canadian households were responsible for 42% of Canada's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including both the direct emissions related to household fuel use (44%) and the indirect emissions related to household spending on goods and services (56%).

A new analysis released in Environment Fact Sheets shows that indirect emissions associated with household spending on food and beverages accounted for a quarter of these indirect emissions and were a top source of GHG emissions after indirect emissions associated with household energy consumption.

  Note to readers

The greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions estimates related to household spending on food and beverage products and on food services presented in this article are based on an input-output model that combines physical flow data on GHG emissions by industry with economic data on the production and consumption of goods and services. These indirect emissions do not include emissions associated with the production of food by non-Canadian enterprises.

GHG emissions data are taken from the Canadian System of Environmental–Economic Accounts – Physical Flow Accounts (PFA). The GHG account covers annual emissions of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide by industry, governments, institutions and households. Data are also available according to the final demand perspective, where emissions are attributed to the end user of goods and services rather than to the producer, and are referred to as indirect emissions.

The GHG emissions estimates in the PFA differ from those reported in the National Inventory Report: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks produced by Environment and Climate Change Canada (Infographic 1). The national inventory report fulfills Canada's reporting obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and is the official benchmark for GHG emissions in Canada. The reporting requirements of the UNFCCC differ from the methodological guidelines of the United Nations System of Environmental–Economic Accounting used to create the GHG account described above.

For more information, visit Canadian System of Environmental–Economic Accounts – Physical Flow Accounts (PFA).


The article "Household food consumption and Canadian greenhouse gas emissions, 2015" is now available in the publication Environment Fact Sheets (Catalogue number16-508-X).

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