Provincial Emissions Tracker

How have emissions changed over the last 30 years?

Climate change is caused by an increase in greenhouse gas emissions into the environment. Over the past 30 years, emissions in Canada have changed, both nationally, and within provinces. Click on the location icons below to learn more about emissions and their changes in each specific province. 











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  • Energy production is British Columbia’s largest source of GHG emissions. This includes forms of transportation, stationary combustion like heaters and engines, and emissions from refining or storing fossil fuels. 

  • Within energy production, transportation involving roads and immobilized combustion such as heating buildings comprise the largest portion of GHG emissions. 

  •  Agriculture is the smallest of the top five emissions producers in the province. 


Environmental Reporting BC. 2019. Trends in Greenhouse Gas Emissions in B.C. (1990-2017). State of Environment Reporting, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, British Columbia, Canada.



  • Emissions have risen by 58% since 1990.

  • 50% of the province's emissions come from the oil and gas sector, 16% from electricity generation, and 11% from transportation.

  • Of GHGe from the oil and gas sector, bulk comes from “production, processing, and transmission”, primarily in the oil sands.

  • Starting in 2018 the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER) was replaced by the Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation (CCIR) which provides incentives for large carbon emitters (facilities) to reduce their GHG emissions. This was then replaced by the Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) system in 2020. This “applies to facilities that emitted 100,000 tonnes” (minimum) in at least one year since 2003 and offers incentives to clean their technology and reduce emissions.

  • By 2030, the provincial government has committed to:
    Setting an overall limit on GHG emissions from the oil sands at 100 Mt/yr, although with some exceptions. However, currently, no limit exists. They have also committed to charging oil sands facilities $30/tonne of carbon; an “oil sands specific output-based allocation approach”.


Government of Alberta. Capping oil sand emissions. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 14 June 2020].

Government of Alberta. Climate change in Alberta. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 14 June 2020].

Government of Alberta. Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction Regulation. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 14 June 2020].

Government of Alberta. Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 14 June 2020].

Government of Canada. Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles – Alberta. [Online]. Available from: [Accessed 14 June 2020].


  • Saskatchewan’s emissions have increased by 75% since 1990.

  • Saskatchewan’s emissions per capita, at approximately 67.7 tonnes of CO2e, are the highest in Canada and 246% above the national average.

  • The largest emitting sectors in Saskatchewan are oil and gas production at 33% of emissions, agriculture at 23%, and electricity generation at 20%.

  • Saskatchewan’s electricity sector relies on coal-fired generation and is the second-largest emitter by electricity-generation in Canada after Alberta                                                                                                                    

  • Oil and gas production, agriculture, and electricity generation are Saskatchewan's top emitting sectors accounting for 33%, 23%, and 20% of the province's emissions respectively 


Canada Energy Regulator. Provincial and Territorial Energy Profile - Saskatchewan [Internet]. Canada: Government of Canada; N.d. [updated 2020 Jun 24; cited 2020 May]. Available from



  • Majority of Manitoba’s emissions originate from fossil fuel burning for transportation, stationary combustion (e.g. heating), and fugitive emissions (e.g. the storage/processing of fossil fuels).

  • Manitoba’s GHG emissions have risen by 19% since 1990.

  • In 2018, Manitoba’s GHG levels were 28% above the levels that were needed to be met in 2012 as per the Kyoto Protocol.


Climate Change Connection. GHG Emissions - Manitoba [Internet]. Canada: Climate Change Connection; N.d. [update 2020 Apr 28; cited 2020 May]. Available from


  • Ontario's emissions peaked in 2000.

  • Eliminating coal-powered electricity generation has been a major source of emissions reductions. As of 2018 low-carbon sources are responsible for 96% of Ontario’s electricity generation.

  • From 2005 to 2015 emissions from Ontario’s electricity system have fallen by 80% by retiring all of Ontario’s coal-fired power plants and replacing coal with a mix of nuclear, solar, wind, hydro and natural gas.

  • The amount of GHGs emitted per unit of electricity produced, also known as emissions intensity, fell by a factor of seven from 2000 to 2015.

  • The 2009 economic downturn greatly impacted Ontario's manufacturing sector which also contributed to reductions in emissions from heavy industry 



  • Quebec has the lowest emissions per capita in Canada, and their total provincial GHG emissions have decreased by 9% since 1990.

  • Roughly 90% of all electricity comes from renewable sources.

  • In 2006 a Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) was initiated, and in 2012, it was replaced with a new iteration. The plan works on 30 priorities and is working towards 150 actions overseen by the Quebec government.


Canada Energy Regulator. Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles - Quebec [Internet]. Canada: Government of Canada; N.d. [updated 2020 Jun 24; cited 2020 May]. Available from:

Développment durable, Environnement et Parcs Quebec. 2006-2012 Action Plan Quebec and Climate Change A Challenge for the Future [Internet]. Quebec: Government of Quebec; 2008 [cited 2020 May]. 54 p. Available from:

Environnement et Lutte contre les changements climatique Québec. Reports on Climate Change Action Plans (CCAP) [Internet]. Quebec: Government of Quebec; N.d. [cited 2020 May]. Available from:





  • Transportation, electricity, and oil and gas sectors account for over 3/4 of the province's total GHG emissions sources.

  • The vast majority of New Brunswick's GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector in 2017 is attributed to petroleum refining.

  • Provincial GHG emissions overall have decreased by 11% since 1990.


Canada Energy Regulator. Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles - New Brunswick [Internet]. Canada: Government of Canada; N.d. [updated 2020 Jun 24; cited 2020 May]. Available from:


  • The main emitting sectors in Nova Scotia are electricity generation, transportation, and residential and commercial buildings at 42%, 31%, and 14% respectively.

  • Nova Scotia’s emissions decreased by 26% between 2005 and 2018.

  • Policies targeting emissions from the electricity sector, such as an emissions cap for Nova Scotia Power, lead to higher utilization of natural gas and renewables and a reduction in coal-fired generation.

  • From 2005 to 2015 Electricity demand significantly decreased in Nova Scotia from due to reduced manufacturing activity.

  • The province committed to increasing the share of electricity produced by renewables and the Community-Feed-In-Tariff program for wind power in 2010 and by 2015 wind power supplied 10% of Nova Scotia’s electricity generation.


Canada Energy Regulator. Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles - Nova Scotia [Internet]. Canada: Government of Canada; N.d. [updated 2020 Jun 24; cited 2020 May]. Available from:


Environment and Climate Change Canada. Greenhouse gas sources and sinks: executive summary 2020 [Internet]. Ottawa: Environment Canada; 2020 [cited 2020 May] Available from:

Canada Energy Regulator. Market snapshot: some Canadian provinces have already met their 2030 GHG emission targets [Internet]. Canada: Government of Canada; 2017 Jul 05 [updated 2020 Feb 13; cited 2020 May]. Available from:

Canada Energy Regulator. Market snapshot: PEI and Nova Scotia leading Canada in share of wind generation [Internet]. Canada: Government of Canada; 2016 Jan 28 [updated 2020 Feb 18; cited 2020 May]. Available from:



  • Emissions in PEI are 44% from transportation including cars and trucks; 26% from agriculture, including methane from livestock and nitrous oxide from fertilizer; and 20% from business and residential buildings; as well as 6% industrial and 4% waste.

  • PEI aims to reduce emissions to 40% below 2005 levels, to 0.9 Mt CO2 equivalent per year by 2030; PEI’s emissions in 2018 were 19% lower than 2005 levels, about halfway to the new target.

  • In 2005, the Renewable Energy Act was implemented to encourage the development of renewable energies; now, about 25% of PEI’s energy needs are met by renewable energy.




  • Overall GHG emissions have decreased 1% since 1990 in the Yukon.

  • In the Yukon, GHG emissions per capita are 31% below the Canadian average.

  • Transportation accounts for the bulk of GHG emissions at 80%, followed by buildings (residential and commercial) at 7% and industrial at 7%.

  • In 2018, 94% of electricity was generated from hydro sources.




  • GHG emissions from the North West Territories account for less than 1% of the national total but are the third highest in Canada per capita (at 33 tonnes per person) and the highest per capita of the territories.

  • There has been a 33% decrease in GHG emission in the transportation sector and a 21% decrease in electricity.

  • In 2007, the Government of the Northwest Territories began investments in alternative energy and energy improvement projects, with emphasis on biomass for heating.

  • Biomass, medium-large scale solar energy projects are gradually replacing high-pressure street lights with more energy-efficient LED lights (one community at a time).




  • Nunavut became an official territory in the year 2000 and its GHG emissions have increased by 60% since then.

  • Transportation is responsible for ⅔ (66%) of the province's GHG emissions.

  • CO2 emissions per capita are 15.6 tonnes which is 21% below the Canadian average.

  • As of 2003, Government of Nunavut began collecting knowledge and information on climate change and its impacts, with emphasis on input from community elders.


Province icons by Eucalyp, Good Ware, Freepik, and Prosymbol from

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