January 1, 2018

National Inventory Report, 1990– 2016: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks In Canada—Canada’s Submission To The United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is an international treaty established in 1992 to cooperatively address climate change issues. The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC is to stabilize atmospheric greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system. Canada ratified the UNFCCC in December 1992, and the Convention came into force in March 1994.

To achieve its objective and implement its provisions, the UNFCCC lays out several guiding principles and commitments. Specifically, Articles 4 and 12 commit all Parties to develop, periodically update, publish and make available to the Conference of the Parties (COP) their national inventories of anthropogenic emissions by sources and removals by sinks of all GHGs not controlled by the Montreal Protocol.

Canada’s National Inventory is prepared and submitted annually to the UNFCCC by April 15 of each year, in accordance with revised Guidelines for the preparation of national communications by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention, Part I: UNFCCC reporting guidelines on annual inventories (UNFCCC Reporting Guidelines), adopted through Decision 24/CP.19 at COP 19 in Warsaw in 2013. The annual inventory submission consists of the National Inventory Report (NIR) and the Common Reporting Format (CRF) tables.

The inventory GHG estimates include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) and nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) in the following five sectors: Energy; Industrial Processes and Product Use; Agriculture; Waste; and Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). The GHG emission and removal estimates contained in Canada’s GHG inventory are developed using methodologies consistent with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) 2006 Guidelines for the preparation of National GHG Inventories. In line with the principle of continuous improvement, the underlying data and methodology for estimating emissions are revised over time; hence, total emissions in all years are subject to change as both data and methods are improved.

In May 2015, Canada indicated its intent to reduce GHG emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. In December 2015 at COP 21, Canada, alongside the other countries of the world, reached an ambitious and balanced agreement to fight climate change. Since 2005 was adopted as a base year for both Canada’s 2020 and 2030 targets many of the metrics in this report are presented in that context, in addition to the 1990 base year as required by the UNFCCC Reporting Guidelines.