Canada’s Black Carbon Inventory Report 2021
Table of contents
- List of abbreviations and units
- Executive summary
- 1 Introduction
- 2 Black carbon emissions and trends in Canada
- 3 Black carbon inventory development
- Annex 1: Sector descriptions
- Annex 2: Fractions of black carbon to particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter
- Annex 3: United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Report on black carbon emissions
- Annex 4: Provincial and territorial black carbon emissions estimates
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 its 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 2013–2019 and estimates:
Sean Angel, Alice Au, Owen Barrigar, Dominique Blain, Vanessa Gagnon-Chantereau, Brandon Greenlaw, Bénédicte Hurlet, Jordon Kay, Emil Laurin, Geneviève LeBlanc-Power, Catherine Lee, Jonathan Lee, Monique Murphy, Frank Neitzert, Kristen Obeda, Raphaëlle Pelland St-Pierre, Lindsay Pratt, Catherine Robert, Duane Smith, Steve Smyth, Anne-Marie St-Laurent Thibault, Brett Taylor, Shawn Tobin, Kristine Tracey and Nick Zhao.
Operation and maintenance of a central compilation and reporting database was done by Catherine Robert with the support of Monique Murphy. Coordination of the black carbon inventory report was led by Raphaëlle Pelland St-Pierre. Compilation and layout of the report for publication were 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.
Comments regarding the content 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 Saint-Joseph Blvd.
Gatineau, QC Canada K1A 0H3
List of abbreviations and units
- Air Pollutant Emissions Inventory
- black carbon
- Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution
- Environment and Climate Change Canada
- European Environment Agency
- European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme
- electrical power generation
- included elsewhere
- kilograms per cubic metre
- landing and takeoff
- Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator
- Nomenclature for Reporting
- National Pollutant Release Inventory
- particulate matter
- particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter
- quality assurance
- quality control
- United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
- U.S. EPA
- United States Environmental Protection Agency
- weight by weight (mass fraction)
Black carbon is a component of particulate matter (PM) 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 on both near-term warming of the atmosphere and 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 from 2013 to 2015, the Council first promoted actions to achieve enhanced reductions of black carbon and methane emissions. The Framework for Action on Enhanced Black Carbon and Methane Emissions Reductions was agreed to in April 2015. It includes 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). In 2017, the eight Arctic Council States also committed to the aspirational goal of reducing collective emissions of black carbon by 25–33% of 2013 levels by 2025. Consistent with this commitment, Canada ratified in November 2017 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. Canada’s black carbon emissions inventory allows Canada to assess its progress in reducing black carbon emissions, combatting related climate change and human health issues, and to contribute towards the Arctic Council-stated collective aspirational goal.
This report presents the results of the 2021 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
- Oil and Gas Industry
- Electric Power Generation (Utilities)
- Transportation and Mobile Equipment
Consistent with international reporting requirements, Canada’s emissions of black carbon from aircraft at cruising altitude as well as emissions from international marine navigation, are presented separately from other sources of emissions in this report and excluded from Canada’s national total emissions.
In 2019, approximately 31 kilotonnes (kt) of black carbon were emitted in Canada (Table ES–1).Footnote 2 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 19 kt (61%) of total emissions in 2019. Among Transportation and Mobile Equipment, off-road diesel engines account for 9.2 kt (29%) of total emissions. The other large source in this category is diesel engines used for on-road transport, which account for 5.9 kt (19%) of total emissions.
Commercial/Residential/Institutional fuel combustion is the second-largest contributor to black carbon emissions in Canada, accounting for 8.6 kt of black carbon, or 28% of total emissions in 2019. Home Firewood Burning is the largest source in this category, making up 7.4 kt of black carbon, or 24% of total 2019 emissions. Wood is an abundant fuel in Canada. It is estimated that 9.2 million tonnes of firewood were burned in Canadian homes in 2019, an increase of 7% since 2015 (ECCC, 2020).
Since 2013, black carbon emissions in Canada have decreased overall by 5.4 kt (15%), although emissions have increased by 2.8 kt (9.8%) since 2016. Trends in black carbon emissions are largely driven by Transportation and Mobile Equipment and are consistent with observed trends in emissions of PM less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) (upon which black carbon estimates are based) (Table ES–1). More information on the black carbon emissions and trends in Canada can be found in Chapter 2 and on estimation methods in Chapter 3.
Irrespective of the downward trend observed in Canadian emissions, air quality issues may still arise when emissions sources are spatially concentrated. While the black carbon inventory provides valuable information on emissions within Canada, it does not distinguish localized sources of emissions within the provincial and territorial level aggregations. 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.
|Source category and sector||2013||2014||2015||2016||2017||2018||2019|
|Cement and Concrete Industry||14||15||16||18||15||19||16|
|Iron and Steel Industry||120||120||120||120||120||140||130|
|Iron Ore Pelletizing||6.3||6.6||7.1||7.3||6.3||5.7||6.5|
|Mining and Rock Quarrying||470||440||390||360||500||390||430|
|Ore and Mineral Industries (total) (total of the 6 preceding rows)||650||630||570||540||670||580||620|
|Disposal and Waste Treatment||0.12||0.13||0.13||0.12||0.12||0.10||0.10|
|Flaring||970||1 100||1 000||800||860||870||870|
|Heavy Crude Oil Cold Production||94||96||99||96||97||100||100|
|Light/Medium Crude Oil Production||160||160||160||150||150||160||160|
|Natural Gas Production and Processing||530||540||540||530||530||540||530|
|Natural Gas Transmission and Storage||34||32||32||35||36||36||36|
|Natural Gas Distribution||0.82||0.74||0.71||0.73||0.75||0.72||0.71|
|Oil Sands In-Situ Extraction||180||200||210||210||230||250||260|
|Oil Sands Mining, Extraction and Upgrading||200||310||250||250||290||280||320|
|Petroleum Liquids Storage||3.4||3.1||3.0||2.7||2.4||4.8||7.7|
|Petroleum Liquids Transportation||3.9||3.9||3.9||4.1||3.6||3.8||4.2|
|Oil and Gas Industry (total) (total of the 12 preceding rows)||2 200||2 500||2 300||2 100||2 200||2 200||2 300|
|Other (Electric Power Generation)||29||34||34||36||31||31||31|
|Electric Power Generation (Utilities) (total) (total of the 4 preceding rows)||210||230||240||240||210||220||210|
|Pulp and Paper Industry||270||220||200||190||170||160||150|
|Manufacturing (total) (total of the 2 preceding rows)||500||390||410||330||300||280||290|
|Air Transportation (LTO)||230||220||210||210||210||230||230|
|Domestic Marine Navigation, Fishing and Military||1 600||1 700||800||820||850||900||1 000|
|On-Road Transport||7 600||7 000||6 300||6 200||6 500||6 800||6 700|
On-Road Transport: Diesel
|6 800||6 200||5 500||5 300||5 600||5 900||5 900|
On-Road Transport: Gasoline
On-Road Transport: Liquid Petroleum Gas
On-Road Transport: Natural Gas
|Off-Road Transport||13 000||11 000||11 000||8 400||9 100||9 800||9 600|
Off-Road Transport: Diesel
|12 000||11 000||10 000||7 900||8 700||9 300||9 200|
Off-Road Transport: Gasoline and Natural Gas
|Rail Transportation||1 900||1 800||1 500||1 400||1 400||1 500||1 500|
|Transportation and Mobile Equipment (total) (total of the 11 preceding rows)||24 000||22 000||20 000||17 000||18 000||19 000||19 000|
|Agriculture (total) (total of the preceding row)||56||59||52||51||50||43||20|
|Commercial and Institutional Fuel Combustion||830||880||840||850||930||960||990|
|Construction Fuel Combustion||42||41||41||43||44||47||47|
|Home Firewood Burning||8 000||8 000||7 700||7 200||7 200||7 500||7 400|
Home Firewood Burning: Fireplaces
Home Firewood Burning: Furnaces
|5 100||5 100||4 900||4 700||4 800||5 100||5 100|
Home Firewood Burning: Wood Stoves
|2 000||2 000||1 900||1 700||1 600||1 700||1 700|
|Residential Fuel Combustion||160||150||150||140||150||160||160|
|Commercial/Residential/Institutional (total) (total of the 7 preceding rows)||9 000||9 100||8 700||8 200||8 300||8 700||8 600|
|Grand total||37 000||35 000||32 000||28 000||30 000||31 000||31 000|
Totals may not add up due to rounding.
Values in this report have been rounded to two significant digits.
0.00 Indicates emissions were truncated due to rounding.
|Domestic Air Transportation (Cruise)||230||220||210||210||230||250||250|
|International Air Transportation (Cruise)||370||360||370||380||420||480||490|
|International Marine Navigation||3 200||3 700||1 600||1 600||1 500||1 500||1 600|
Refer to Chapter 2.5 for more information.
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