Canada’s Black Carbon Inventory Report 2019

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 and report. PIRD would like to highlight the contributions of the following inventory developers, authors and/or reviewers, whose work helped to develop Canada’s Black Carbon Inventory Report and estimates:

Alice Au, Pegah Baratzadeh, Angie Giammario, Brandon Greenlaw, Emil Laurin, Geneviève LeBlanc-Power, Jonathan Lee, Douglas MacDonald, Loretta MacDonald, Frank Neitzert, Amro Osman, Raphaëlle Pelland St-Pierre, Lindsay Pratt, Catherine Robert, Adam Rowlands, Sara Ryan, Duane Smith, Steve Smyth, Brett Taylor, Daniel Thai, 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. Web page 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
Science and Risk Assessment
Science and Technology Branch
Environment and Climate Change Canada
Place Vincent Massey
351 St. Joseph Blvd.
Gatineau, QC Canada  K1A 0H3

Email: ec.iepa-apei.ec@canada.ca.
Telephone: 1-877-877-8375

List of abbreviations and units

APEI 
Air Pollutant Emission Inventory
BC 
Black Carbon
CLRTAP 
Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution
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 in Canada
UNECE  
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
EPA
United States Environmental Protection Agency
w/w
Mass fraction (weight by weight)

Executive summary

Black carbon (BC) is a short-lived 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.

During Canada’s chairpersonship of the Arctic Council (2013 to 2015), the Council first 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 an aerosol.

This report presents the results of the 2019 edition of Canada’s annual inventory of black carbon emissions. Emissions in this inventory are grouped according to the following source categories:Footnote 1

  • Ore and Mineral Industries
  • Upstream Oil and Gas Industry
  • Electric Power Generation (Utilities)
  • Manufacturing
  • Transportation and Mobile Equipment
  • Agriculture
  • Commercial/Residential/Institutional

In 2017, approximately 36 kilotonnes (kt) of black carbon were emitted in Canada directly linked to human activities, which is the same as the revised 2016 emissions of 36 kt (Table ES–1). All emissions reported in this inventory are from anthropogenic (human) sources. Natural sources of black carbon, such as wildfires, are not included.

Transportation and mobile equipment are by far the largest source of black carbon in Canada, accounting for 20 kt (54%) of total emissions in 2017. Among transportation and mobile equipment, off-road diesel engines account for 8.3 kt (23%) of the total emissions. The other large source in this category is diesel engines used for on-road transport, which account for 5.4 kt (15%) of total emissions.

Commercial/residential/institutional fuel combustion is the second-largest contributor to black carbon emissions in Canada, representing emissions of 13 kt, or 35% of total emissions in 2017. Home firewood burning is the largest source in this category, representing 12 kt of emissions, or 32% of total 2017 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 8.0 kt (18%). This overall decrease is attributed to declining emissions from transportation and mobile equipment, consistent with observed downward trends in emissions of fine particulate matter (upon which black carbon estimates are based) (Table ES–1).

The sources included in this 2019 edition of the annual inventory are estimated to account for the majority of anthropogenic black carbon emissions in Canada. Work will continue to improve the completeness and accuracy of the inventory, quantifying the emissions that are not yet captured, and refining base data and estimation techniques.

Table ES–1: Canadian black carbon emissions by sector (2013 to 2017) (tonnes)
Sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017
Aluminium Industry 51 46 36 36 35
Cement and Concrete Industry 13 15 19 15 16
Foundries 0.058 0.061 0.055 0.048 0.041
Mining and Rock Quarrying 440 407 366 361 481
Ore and Mineral Industries (total) Ore and Mineral Industries (total of the 4 preceding rows)
 
504 469 421 412 531
Disposal and Waste Treatment 0.12 0.13 0.13 0.12 0.12
Flaring 1 287 1 471 1 430 1 182 1 352
Heavy Crude Oil Cold Production 94 96 99 96 97
Light/Medium Crude Oil Production 155 156 155 151 153
Natural Gas Production and Processing 531 538 535 525 530
Natural Gas Transmission and Storage 34 32 32 35 36
Natural Gas Distribution 0.82 0.74 0.71 0.72 0.75
Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction 181 195 208 211 233
Oil Sands Mining, Extraction and Upgrading 234 375 344 349 462
Petroleum Liquids Storage 3.4 3.1 3.0 2.2 2.3
Petroleum Liquids Transportation 3.7 3.8 3.8 3.9 3.4
Well Drilling/Servicing/Testing  3.0 2.9 1.3 0.89 1.4
Upstream Oil and Gas Industry (total) Upstream Oil and Gas Industry (total of the 12 preceding rows)
 
2 527 2 875 2 812 2 556 2 871
Coal 37 42 39 37 37
Diesel 131 144 152 159 129
Natural Gas 12 11 10 9.6 8.5
Other (Electric Power Generation) 33 38 42 39 35
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (total) Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (total of the 4 preceding rows)
 
213 234 244 245 210
Pulp and Paper Industry 272 225 199 188 169
Wood Products 203 154 195 131 117
Manufacturing (total) Manufacturing (total of the 2 preceding rows)
 
476 379 394 319 285
Air Transportation 681 664 671 685 704
Marine Transportation 4 999 5 727 2 635 2 698 2 761
On-Road Transport 7 646 6 958 6 271 6 160 6 171
On-Road Transport: Diesel
6 784 6 166 5 494 5 349 5 375
On-Road Transport: Gasoline
862 792 776 811 796
On-Road Transport: Liquid Petroleum Gas
0.49 0.20 0.15 0.18 0.22
On-Road Transport: Natural Gas
0.21 0.20 0.20 0.30 0.61
Off-Road Transport 12 604 11 408 10 911 8 389 8 712
Off-Road Transport: Diesel
12 105 10 897 10 405 7 941 8 259
Off-Road Transport: Gasoline, Liquid Petroleum Gas, Natural Gas
499 511 507 448 453
Rail Transportation 1 900 1 762 1 515 1 395 1 404
Transportation and Mobile Equipment (total) Transportation and Mobile Equipment (total of the 11 preceding rows)
 
27 830 26 520 22 003 19 328 19 752
Fuel Use 56 59 52 51 50
Agriculture (total) Agriculture (total of the preceding row)
 
56 59 52 51 50
Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion 829 882 842 852 887
Construction Fuel Combustion 42 41 41 43 44
Home Firewood Burning 11 679 11 601 11 525 11 606 11 532
Home Firewood Burning: Fireplaces
3 380 3 347 3 316 3 312 3 282
Home Firewood Burning: Furnaces
4 180 4 155 4 131 4 192 4 169
Home Firewood Burning: Wood Stoves
4 120 4 098 4 078 4 101 4 082
Residential Fuel Combustion 157 165 152 136 146
Commercial/Residential/Institutional (total) Commercial/Residential/Institutional (total of the 7 preceding rows)
 
12 707 12 688 12 560 12 638 12 609
Grand total 44 313 43 222 38 487 35 548 36 309
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