Environmental Thematic Maps and Graphics
Complementary approaches to reporting Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions

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Release date: July 15, 2020

Two Sets of United Nations (UN) Guidelines

A Greenhouse Gas (GHG) account is compiled by Statistics Canada in accordance with the United Nations System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) guidelines. This framework explicitly aligns environmental data with current economic activity.

The National GHG Inventory provides Canada’s offi­cial GHG emissions and is prepared by Environment and Climate Change Canada in accordance with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reporting guidelines. These estimates focus on emissions occurring over Canadian territory.

Two Different Frameworks

GHG accounting concepts are aligned with those of the UN System of National Accounts which allows environmental information to be integrated with economic information.

Direct GHG emissions are published following the industry classification used by Statistics Canada’s economy-wide Supply-Use Tables. Includes estimates for 110 different industries plus two household categories.

The National GHG Inventory is the official report for GHG emissions in Canada - used to track Canada's progress toward meeting international agreements to reduce GHG emissions. Emissions and removals grouped into:

5 internationally-agreed activity sectors:

  • Energy (stationary combustion, transport, fugitive sources)
  • Industrial Processes and Product Use
  • Agriculture
  • Land Use, Land-use Change and Forestry
  • Waste

6 Canada-specific economic sectors:

  • Oil and Gas
  • Transportation
  • Electricity
  • Heavy Industry
  • Buildings
  • Agriculture, Waste and Other

Venn Diagram

Description for Figure

This figure is an overlapping two-circle Venn diagram that compares and contrasts Statistics Canada's greenhouse gas account, which is related to current economic activity to the national greenhouse gas inventory, which is related to net greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.

The left circle (exclusive to the greenhouse gas account, except for the overlapping portion) shows emissions from biomass with the examples wood, spent pulping liquor, ethanol and biodiesel given, and prescribed burns. The greenhouse gas account doesn't account for the re-absorption of these emissions later. Also in the left circle are aviation fuel emissions abroad by domestic airlines.

The right circle (exclusive to the national greenhouse gas inventory, except for the overlapping portion) shows emissions from other gases commonly used in refrigerants and electronic manufacturing. Data for these gases is currently insufficient to include in the greenhouse gas account. Also in the right circle are aviation fuel emissions in Canada by foreign airlines. Finally in the right circle are emissions from solid waste. These are not included in the greenhouse gas account since these emissions are not a result of current economic production.

In the overlapping portion of the Venn diagram (included in both the greenhouse gas account and the national greenhouse gas inventory) are emissions of carbon dioxide from non-biomass sources, plus methane and nitrous oxide. Also, we find aviation fuel emissions in Canada by domestic airlines.

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