Canada's Black Carbon Inventory 2018

Canada’s black carbon emissions for the year.

Acknowledgements

The Pollutant Inventories and Reporting Division (PIRD) of Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) wishes to acknowledge the individuals and organizations that contributed to Canada’s Black Carbon Inventory. PIRD would like to highlight the contributions of the following inventory developers, authors and/or reviewers, whose work helped to develop the black carbon inventory report and estimates:

Alice Au, Pegah Baratzadeh, Susan Charles, Angie Giammario, Shari Hayne, Chelsea Kealey, Genevieve Leblanc-Power, Douglas MacDonald, Loretta MacDonald, Jackie Mercer, Frank Neitzert,  Lindsay Pratt, Catherine Robert, Adam Rowlands, Sara Ryan, Duane Smith, Steve Smyth, Brett Taylor, Shawn Tobin, Kristine Tracey and Nick Zhao.

Overall coordination of the black carbon inventory was led by Lindsay Pratt. Compilation, layout and development of the report for publication were carried out by Marida Waters. Webpage development was carried out by David Maher. Editing and translation were provided by Public Services and Procurement Canada.

Of the numerous people and organizations that provided support and information, we are especially indebted to the many individuals from the federal and provincial governments, industry and industry associations, consulting firms, and universities who provided technical and scientific support.

Readers’ Comments

Comments regarding the contents of this report should be addressed to:

Director, Pollutant Inventories and Reporting Division
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Place Vincent Massey
351 St. Joseph Blvd.
Gatineau, QC Canada  K1A 0H3
Email: ec.iepa-apei.ec@canada.ca.

List of acronyms, abbreviations and units

APEI 
Air Pollutant Emission Inventory
BC 
Black carbon
CLRTAP 
Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
CO2
Carbon dioxide
ECCC 
Environment and Climate Change Canada
EEA 
European Environment Agency
EMEP 
European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme
EPG 
Electrical Power Generation
IE 
Included elsewhere
kg/m3
Kilograms per cubic metre
kt 
Kilotonne
MOVES 
Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator
NFR 
Nomenclature for Reporting
NPRI 
National Pollutant Release Inventory
PIRD  
Pollutant Inventories and Reporting Division
PM
Particulate matter
PM2.5 
Particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 micrometres in diameter
RESD
Report on Energy Supply-Demand Canada
UNECE  
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
UNFCCC
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
U.S. EPA
United States Environmental Protection Agency
w/w
Mass fraction (weight by weight)

Executive summary

Black carbon (BC) is a short-lived, small aerosol (or airborne) particle linked to both climate warming and adverse health effects. Black carbon emissions have recently become a focus of attention due to their effects on the near-term warming of the atmosphere and on human health. Reducing black carbon emissions is of particular interest in Polar Regions, such as the Arctic, which are especially sensitive to the effects of black carbon.

The Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change recognizes the importance of reducing emissions of black carbon and other climate pollutants, and the Government of Canada is taking regulatory action to reduce emissions of these pollutants.

During Canada’s chairmanship of the Arctic Council (2013 to 2015), the Council promoted actions to achieve enhanced reductions of black carbon and methane emissions. A framework for action was agreed to in April 2015 that included a commitment from all Arctic states to develop and improve emission inventories for black carbon using, where possible, relevant guidelines from the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution (CLRTAP). Environment ministers from Arctic states had previously agreed that these inventories could be voluntarily submitted under the CLRTAP. On November 28, 2017 Canada ratified the Gothenburg Protocol and its 2012 amendments under the CLRTAP. The amendments to the Gothenburg Protocol include new commitments to reduce emissions of particulate matter. The amended Gothenburg Protocol is the first legally binding instrument to include a focus on black carbon, as both a component of particulate matter and as an aerosol.

This report presents the results of Canada’s fourth annual inventory of black carbon emissions. Emissions in this inventory are grouped according to the following sources:Footnote 1

  • Ore and mineral industries
  • Oil and gas industry
  • Electric power generation (utilities)
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation and mobile equipment
  • Agriculture
  • Commercial / residential / institutional

In 2016, approximately 35 kilotonnes (kt) of black carbon were emitted in Canada, which is less than the revised 2015 emissions of 38 kt (Table ES-1). Transportation and mobile equipment are by far the most important sources of black carbon in Canada, accounting for 19 kt (54%) of total emissions in 2016. Among transportation and mobile equipment, off-road diesel engines account for 8.1 kt (23%) of the total emissions. The other large source in this category is diesel engines used for on-road transport, which account for 5.3 kt (15%) of total emissions.

Commercial/Residential/Institutional sources are the second-largest contributor to black carbon emissions in Canada, representing emissions of 13 kt, or 36% of total emissions in 2016. Home firewood burning is the largest source in this category, representing 12 kt of emissions, or 33% of total 2016 emissions. Wood is an abundant fuel in Canada; it is estimated that 14 million tonnes of wood are burned annually in Canadian homes. More information on the estimation methods can be found in Section 2.2.

Since 2013 black carbon emissions have decreased by 7.8 kt (18%). This overall decrease is attributed to decreases from transportation and mobile equipment, consistent with observed decreasing trends in emissions of fine particulate matter (upon which black carbon estimates are based) (Table ES-1).

The sources included in this fourth annual inventory are estimated to account for at least 90% of anthropogenic black carbon emissions. Work will continue to improve the completeness and accuracy of the inventory, quantifying the emissions that are not captured yet, and refining base data and estimation techniques.

All emissions reported in this inventory are from anthropogenic (human) sources. Natural sources of black carbon, such as wildfires, are not included.

Table ES-1: Canadian black carbon emissions by source (2013 to 2016) (tonnes)
Source 2013 2014 2015 2016
National source total 42 690 41 265 38 288 34 921
Source total: Ore and Mineral Industries 494 456 435 427
Source total: Oil and Gas Industry 2 503 2 855 2 799 2 524
Source total: Electric Power Generation (Utilities) 212 232 242 243
Source total: Manufacturing 493 378 400 329
Source total: Transportation and Mobile Equipment 26 248 24 616 21 821 18 733
Source total: Agriculture 23 24 20 20
Source total: Commercial / Residential / Institutional 12 718 12 704 12 571 12 645
Table ES-1.1: Canadian black carbon emissions from ore and mineral industries (2013 to 2016) (tonnes)
Sector: subsector 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source total: Ore and Mineral Industries 494 456 435 427
Sector total: Aluminium Industry 51 46 37 36
Sector total: Cement and Concrete Industry 15 16 20 16
Sector total: Foundries 0.058 0.061 0.055 0.048
Sector total: Mining and Rock Quarrying 429 394 378 375
Table ES-1.2: Canadian black carbon emissions from the oil and gas industry (2013 to 2016) (tonnes)
Sector: subsector 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source total: Oil and Gas Industry 2 503 2 855 2 799 2 524
Sector total: Upstream Petroleum Industry 2 503 2 855 2 799 2 524
Upstream Petroleum Industry: Disposal and Waste Treatment 5.5 6.3 5.3 4.0
Upstream Petroleum Industry: Heavy Crude Oil Cold Production 150 170 184 184
Upstream Petroleum Industry: Light Medium Crude Oil Production 898 972 880 739
Upstream Petroleum Industry: Natural Gas Production and Processing  804 864 856 789
Upstream Petroleum Industry: Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction and Processing 260 298 328 335
Upstream Petroleum Industry: Oil Sands Mining, Extraction and Upgrading 309 456 477 437
Upstream Petroleum Industry: Petroleum Liquids Storage 4.2 3.8 3.8 2.8
Upstream Petroleum Industry: Petroleum Liquids Transportation 2.1 2.2 2.1 2.1
Upstream Petroleum Industry: Well Drilling/Servicing/Testing  70 82 62 32
Table ES-1.3: Canadian black carbon emissions from electric power generation (utilities) (2013 to 2016) (tonnes)
Sector: subsector 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source total: Electric Power Generation (Utilities) 212 232 242 243
Sector total: Coal 37 42 39 37
Sector total: Natural Gas 12 10 10 8.8
Sector total: Diesel 122 135 144 150
Sector total: Other Electric Power Generation  41 45 49 47
Table ES-1.4: Canadian black carbon emissions from manufacturing (2013 to 2016) (tonnes)
Sector: subsector 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source total: Manufacturing 493 378 400 329
Sector total: Pulp and Paper Industry 269 209 199 191
Sector total: Wood Products 223 169 201 139
Table ES-1.5: Canadian black carbon emissions from transportation and mobile equipment (2013 to 2016) (tonnes)
Sector: subsector 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source total: Transportation and Mobile Equipment 26 248 24 616 21 821 18 733
Sector total: Air Transportation 681 664 671 684
Sector total: Marine Transportation 2 813 2 813 1 258 1 279
Sector total: On-Road Transport 7 662 6 987 6 301 6 087
On-Road Transport: Diesel 6 808 6 204 5 533 5 290
On-Road Transport: Gasoline 853 782 767 796
On-Road Transport: Liquid Petroleum Gas 0.49 0.20 0.16 0.18
On-Road Transport: Compressed Natural Gas 0.21 0.20 0.20 0.30
Sector total: Off-Road Transport 12 933 11 931 11 477 8 736
Off-Road Transport: Diesel 12 283 11 267 10 820 8 145
Off-Road Transport: Gasoline, Liquid Petroleum Gas, Compressed Natural Gas 650 664 657 591
Sector total: Rail Transportation 2 160 2 222 2 114 1 948
Table ES-1.6: Canadian black carbon emissions from agriculture (2013 to 2016) (tonnes)
Sector: subsector 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source total: Agriculture 23 24 20 20
Sector total: Fuel Use 23 24 20 20
Table ES-1.7: Canadian black carbon emissions from commercial / residential / institutional (2013 to 2016) (tonnes)
Sector: subsector 2013 2014 2015 2016
Source total: Commercial / Residential / Institutional 12 718 12 704 12 571 12 645
Sector total: Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion 840 897 853 860
Sector total: Construction Fuel Combustion 42 41 41 43
Sector total: Home Firewood Burning 11 679 11 601 11 525 11 606
Home Firewood Burning: Fireplaces 3 380 3 347 3 316 3 312
Home Firewood Burning: Furnaces 4 180 4 155 4 131 4 192
Home Firewood Burning: Wood Stoves 4 120 4 098 4 078 4 101
Sector total: Residential Fuel Combustion 157 165 152 136
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