Canada's Black Carbon Inventory Report 2020

Canada’s black carbon emissions for the year.

Table of contents

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, Owen Barrigar, Dominique Blain, Ashton Cunje, Alessia Czerwinski, Sylvie Dasné, Brandon Greenlaw, Emil Laurin, Geneviève LeBlanc-Power, Jonathan Lee, Frank Neitzert, Amro Osman, Raphaëlle Pelland St-Pierre, Lindsay Pratt, Catherine Robert, Duane Smith, Steve Smyth, Brett Taylor, Daniel Thai, Shawn Tobin, Kristine Tracey, Hussein Zaki and Nick Zhao.

Development and operation of a central compilation and reporting database was done by Pegah Baratzadeh. Coordination of the black carbon inventory report was led by Raphaëlle Pelland St-Pierre. Compilation and layout of the report for publication was carried out by Marida Waters. Web page development was carried out by David Maher. Editing and translation services 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 component of particulate matter and a short-lived, small aerosol (or airborne particle) linked to both climate warming and adverse health effects. Black carbon emissions are a focus of attention due to their effects both on 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). On November 28, 2017, Canada ratified the Gothenburg Protocol and its 2012 amendments under the CLRTAP. The amended Gothenburg Protocol is the first legally binding instrument to include a focus on black carbon.

This report presents the results of the 2020 edition of Canada’s annual inventory of black carbon emissions. Emissions in this inventory are grouped according to the following source categories:Footnote 1

In 2018, approximately 37 kilotonnes (kt) of black carbon were emitted in Canada that were directly linked to human activities (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 21 kt (57%) of total emissions in 2018. Among transportation and mobile equipment, off-road diesel engines account for 9.3 kt (25%) of the total emissions. The other large source in this category is diesel engines used for on-road transport, which account for 5.9 kt (16%) 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 34% of total emissions in 2018. Home firewood burning is the largest source in this category, representing 11 kt of emissions, or 31% of total 2018 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 overall decreased by 6.5 kt (15%), although emissions have increased by 2.5 kt (7%) since 2016. Trends in black carbon emissions are largely driven by transportation and mobile equipment and are consistent with observed trends in emissions of fine particulate matter (upon which black carbon estimates are based) (Table ES–1).

The sources included in this 2020 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 2018) (tonnes)
Sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Aluminium Industry 50 46 36 35 35 29
Cement and Concrete Industry 14 15 19 15 16 21
Foundries 0.031 0.027 0.027 0.024 0.016 0.00075
Iron and Steel Industry 152 183 165 147 154 199
Iron Ore Pelletizing 6.3 6.6 7.1 7.3 6.3 5.7
Mining and Rock Quarrying 507 441 396 407 558 448
Ore and Mineral Industries (total) (total of the 6 preceding rows) 730 691 624 611 769 703
Disposal and Waste Treatment 0.12 0.13 0.13 0.12 0.12 0.10
Flaring 967 1 122 1 035 804 871 877
Heavy Crude Oil Cold Production 94 96 99 96 97 101
Light/Medium Crude Oil Production 155 156 155 153 154 162
Natural Gas Production and Processing 531 538 535 525 530 537
Natural Gas Transmission and Storage 34 32 32 35 36 36
Natural Gas Distribution 0.82 0.74 0.71 0.73 0.75 0.74
Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction 181 195 208 211 233 249
Oil Sands Mining, Extraction and Upgrading 201 311 254 250 288 280
Petroleum Liquids Storage 3.4 3.1 3.0 2.7 2.4 4.8
Petroleum Liquids Transportation 3.7 3.8 3.8 3.9 3.4 3.6
Well Drilling/Servicing/Testing 3.0 2.9 1.3 0.89 1.4 1.4
Upstream Oil and Gas Industry (total) (total of the 12 preceding rows) 2 174 2 461 2 327 2 082 2 217 2 252
Coal 37 42 39 37 37 36
Diesel 134 148 160 163 134 150
Natural Gas 12 11 11 9.6 8.5 8.6
Other (Electric Power Generation) 29 34 34 36 31 32
Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (total) (total of the 4 preceding rows) 213 234 244 246 210 226
Pulp and Paper Industry 268 222 196 185 165 167
Wood Products 225 170 209 141 127 75
Manufacturing (total) (total of the 2 preceding rows) 493 392 406 326 292 243
Air Transportation 225 214 211 211 216 222
Marine Transportation 4 941 5 652 2 607 2 676 2 745 2 815
On-Road Transport 7 646 6 958 6 271 6 160 6 444 6 760
On-Road Transport: Diesel
6 784 6 166 5 494 5 350 5 631 5 927
On-Road Transport: Gasoline
862 792 776 810 812 833
On-Road Transport: Liquid Petroleum Gas
0.49 0.20 0.15 0.18 0.21 0.21
On-Road Transport: Natural Gas
0.21 0.20 0.20 0.30 0.62 0.62
Off-Road Transport 12 604 11 408 10 911 8 389 9 101 9 777
Off-Road Transport: Diesel
12 105 10 897 10 405 7 941 8 639 9 295
Off-Road Transport: Gasoline, Liquid Petroleum Gas, Natural Gas
499 511 507 448 462 482
Rail Transportation 1 900 1 762 1 515 1 351 1 547 1 580
Transportation and Mobile Equipment (total) (total of the 11 preceding rows) 27 317 25 995 21 514 18 787 20 053 21 154
Fuel Use 56 59 52 51 50 43
Agriculture (total) (total of the preceding row) 56 59 52 51 50 43
Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion 829 882 842 852 909 947
Construction Fuel Combustion 42 41 41 43 44 47
Home Firewood Burning 11 679 11 601 11 525 11 606 11 532 11 459
Home Firewood Burning: Fireplaces
3 380 3 347 3 316 3 312 3 282 3 251
Home Firewood Burning: Furnaces
4 180 4 155 4 131 4 192 4 169 4 145
Home Firewood Burning: Wood Stoves
4 120 4 098 4 078 4 101 4 082 4 062
Residential Fuel Combustion 157 165 152 136 144 163
Commercial/Residential/Institutional (total) (total of the 7 preceding rows) 12 707 12 688 12 560 12 638 12 629 12 616
Grand total 43 691 42 519 37 727 34 741 36 221 37 238
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