Canada's 2016 greenhouse gas emissions reference case: chapter 4


Alternate emissions scenarios

Given the uncertainty regarding the key drivers of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the Reference Case presented in the previous section should be seen as one estimate within a set of possible emissions outcomes in the projection period, as events that will shape emissions and energy markets cannot be fully anticipated. In addition, future developments in technologies, demographics and resources cannot be foreseen with certainty. The variation in these complex economic and energy variables implies that modelling results are most appropriately viewed as a range of plausible outcomes. Environment and Climate Change Canada addresses this uncertainty via modelling and analysis of alternate cases that focus on variability in two key factors: future economic growth projections and the evolution of oil and natural gas prices and production as per the National Energy Board’s high and low forecast scenarios. These assumptions are presented in Tables A31 and A32, and the overall range of emissions is presented in Table A33.

Table A31 Economic Growth and Population from 2014 to 2030
Assumption 2014 to 2020 2020 to 2030
Low Reference High Low Reference High
Average Annual GDP Growth Rate 1.4% 1.6% 2.1% 0.8% 1.7% 2.4%
Average Annual Population Growth Rate 0.7% 1.0% 1.2% 0.5% 0.9% 1.2%
Table A32 Oil and Gas Price and Production in 2020 and 2030
Assumption 2020 2030
Low Reference High Low Reference High
Crude Oil Price: WTI (2014 US$/bbl) 36 64 85 42 81 111
Crude Oil Price: WCS (2014 US$/bbl) 17 42 60 28 62 89
Crude Oil Production (1000 bbl/day) 4470 4529 4705 4662 5214 5986
Natural Gas Price: Henry Hub (2014 US$/GJ) 2.43 3.09 3.92 2.89 3.72 4.62
Natural Gas Production (Billion cubic feet) 5706 6319 7183 6008 7366 9758

*Numbers do not include C5 and condensates

Table A33 Sensitivity of GHG Emissions to Changes in GDP and Price (excluding LULUCF) in Mt CO 2 eq
Scenario 2020 2030 2020 Projection -
2005 Emission
2030 Projection -
2005 Emission
Slow GDP, Low World Oil and Gas Prices 720 697 -27 -51
Fast GDP, High World Oil and Gas Prices 747 790 0 43
Reference Scenario 731 742 -16 -6
Sensitivity Range 720 to 747 697 to 790 -27 to 0 -51 to 43
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