Historical emissions data were obtained from Canada’s national GHG inventory and cover the period to 2019 (Government of Canada, 2021b).
2020 historical emissions estimate
We used the government’s projections for emissions in 2020, harmonised to 2019 inventory data, to derive an estimate for emissions in 2020 (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2021a; Government of Canada, 2021b).
The government’s projected level for CO2 emissions in 2020 is around 30 Mt lower than the estimated drop by the Global Carbon Project, so actual historical emissions for 2020 may be higher than our estimate; however, we consider that the government’s modelling is likely to be more accurate (Global Carbon Project, 2020).
NDC and other targets
For the 2020 target, we calculated the target by excluding LULUCF in the base year (2005) before applying the 17% reduction target and then subtracted projected LULUCF accounting contributions for 2020 from the government’s most recent projections (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2021a).
We applied the same approach for the 2030 target (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2021a). Our LULUCF contribution estimate is the combined total of the contributions the government projects under its current policies scenario (-17MtCO2e), plus the additional measures it anticipates implementing as part of its revised climate plan (-4-7MtCO2e).
We use the same LULUCF contributions assumptions for the 2050 net zero target as we do for the NDC, as the government has not provided any detail on how it tends to meet this target yet.
Current policy projections
Current policy projections to 2030 are based on the ‘Reference Case’, which is updated annually by the Government of Canada, harmonised to the last historical inventory year (2019) (Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2021a; Government of Canada, 2021b). The projections include policy measures in place as of September 2020 and consider the impact of the pandemic (for details of the policies include, see Table A.33: Environment and Climate Change Canada, 2021a).
Planned policy projections
Planned policy projections is based on the estimate reductions from the December 2020 climate plan and additional measures proposed in the 2021 federal budget, harmonised to the last historic inventory year (2019) (Government of Canada, 2021c, 2021b). The 2021 federal budget only provised an estimate for emissions in 2030. We completed the timeseries between 2021 to 2029 by following the same trend line as the current policy projections.
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).