Canada’s Black Carbon Inventory Report 2021

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 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.

Readers’ comments

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

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

List of abbreviations and units

APEI 
Air Pollutant Emissions 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
LTO
landing and takeoff
MOVES 
Motor Vehicle Emission Simulator
NFR 
Nomenclature for Reporting
NPRI 
National Pollutant Release Inventory
PM
particulate matter
PM2.5 
particulate matter less than or equal to 2.5 microns in diameter
QA
quality assurance
QC
quality control
t
tonne
UNECE  
United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
U.S. EPA
United States Environmental Protection Agency
w/w
weight by weight (mass fraction)

Executive summary

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

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.

Table ES–1: Canadian black carbon emissions by source category and sector (2013 to 2019) (tonnes)
Source category and sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Aluminium Industry 50 46 36 35 35 31 29
Cement and Concrete Industry 14 15 16 18 15 19 16
Foundries 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00
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
Well Drilling/Servicing/Testing 3.0 2.9 1.3 0.89 1.4 1.4 1.1
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
Coal 37 42 40 37 37 36 31
Diesel 130 150 160 160 130 140 140
Natural Gas 12 11 11 9.7 8.5 8.7 7.1
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
Wood Products 230 170 210 140 130 120 140
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
860 790 780 810 810 820 830
On-Road Transport: Liquid Petroleum Gas
0.49 0.20 0.15 0.18 0.21 0.21 0.21
On-Road Transport: Natural Gas
0.21 0.20 0.20 0.30 0.62 0.62 0.57
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
500 510 510 450 460 470 470
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
Fuel Use 56 59 52 51 50 43 20
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
900 870 800 730 710 710 680
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

Notes:

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.

Other emissions estimated in the black carbon inventory (tonnes)
Sector 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
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

Note:

Refer to Chapter 2.5 for more information.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: