Historical emissions data is from Canada’s national GHG inventory and covers the period to 2020 (Government of Canada, 2022a).
2021 historical emissions estimate
We did not attempt to estimate historical emissions in 2021. The data used to create the current policy projections (see below) already includes an estimate of the effects of the pandemic and the economic recovery in 2021. The projections estimate about a 1% rebound in year-over-year emissions in 2021. International estimates put the number higher, at around 3%, driven by the energy sector (Gütschow & Pflüger, 2022).
NDC and other targets
For the 2020 target, we calculated a 17% reduction from base year emissions (2005) excluding LULUCF and then subtracted the projected LULUCF accounting contribution for the target from the government’s most recent projections (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2022b).
We applied the same approach for the 2030 target (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2022b). Our LULUCF contribution estimate is the combined total of the contributions the government projects under its current policies scenario (-11 MtCO2e), plus the additional measures it anticipates implementing as part of its revised 2022 climate plan (-17 MtCO2e).
Canada’s net zero strategy assumes a 100 MtCO2e sink in 2050 to assist with achieving the country’s net zero target and so that is the value we use for their net zero target excluding LULUCF.
Current policy projections
The upper end of our current policy projections is based on the ‘Reference Case’, which is updated annually by the Government of Canada, harmonised to the last historical inventory year (2020) (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2022b). The projections include policy measures in place as of November 2021 and consider the impact of the pandemic (see Table A.33 in Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2022b).
To reflect some of the policy developments that have taken place since November 2021, the lower end of the projection includes the estimated reductions from fuel switching as outlined in the government’s latest climate plan (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2022a). The key policies that are not included in the Reference case (upper end of our projections) are the adoption of the Clean Fuel Regulations and continued advancement on the higher carbon price. As we did not have a means to quantify these policies specifically, we used the estimate associated with fuel switching.
Planned policy projections
Planned policy projections is based on additional measures outlined in the government’s latest climate plan, except for the reductions associated with hydrogen, harmonised to the last historical emissions year (2020) (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2022a). We excluded the emissions reductions associated with hydrogen given the concerns of Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development over the validity of the modeling associated with those estimates (see the hydrogen section in the current policies tab for more details).
Global warming potentials
The CAT uses Global Warming Potential (GWP) values from the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) for all figures and time series. Assessments completed prior to December 2018 (COP24) used GWP values from the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report (SAR).