Government of Canada greenhouse gas emissions inventory

Backgrounder

July 17, 2017

In November 2016, the Government of Canada announced it would reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by 40% by 2030 or earlier, using 2005 as the baseline year. To support this commitment, the Centre for Greening Government was created at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to track our emissions centrally, coordinate efforts across government, and drive results to makes sure we meet our objectives.

The Centre has aligned its methodology to measure GHG with international standards to provide a more accurate picture of the government’s progress. The government now has data on GHG for fiscal years 2010 to 2011 until 2014 to 2015, and is working on gathering GHG information for the 2015 to 2016 and 2016 to 2017 fiscal years.

The GHG inventory currently compiles information from 15 departments and agencies that are subject to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy GHG emissions reduction target. Moving forward, the government will gather and share information from other departments and from additional GHG sources. This will allow for more open, transparent, and complete reporting of federal emissions. 

Government of Canada GHG emissions come from energy required for buildings (89%) and fleet (11%). Buildings include office space, laboratories and warehouses. Fleet emission sources include on-road vehicles and off-road federal fleets, that is, cars, vans, trucks as well as boats, ships and planes. 

Emission reductions at facilities resulted mainly from improvements in the GHG intensity of electricity generation as provinces and territories are now using more clean sources of energy to produce electricity. Known as the “greening of the grid,” those improvements contributed to a 14.8% reduction in overall federal emissions. A 4.3% reduction in federal GHG emissions was also achieved through a combination of initiatives, including making buildings more energy-efficient through renovations and equipment retrofits, right-sizing federal fleets, and reducing fleet fuel consumption by purchasing fuel efficient vehicles.

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