Total greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents, or CO2e) from fossil fuel use in the Canadian forest industry have steadily decreased over the last 10 years, while energy use has remained relatively flat in recent years.
- The forest industry’s ability to generate its own electricity, largely from bioenergy, has reduced its reliance on fossil fuels.
- Bioenergy continues to increase its share of the energy mix, accounting for 57% of forest industry energy use in 2015, up from 49% in 2000 and 43% in 1990.
- Between 2005 and 2015, the forest industry reduced energy use by 31% and total GHG emissions (direct emissions plus indirect emissions from purchased electricity) by 49%.
Canada measures its national emission levels annually for all sectors and assesses its emissions against targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions.
The forest industry has achieved both reductions in energy use through greater efficiencies and reductions in GHG emissions by changing the fuel mix. Decreased production and the decline of the pulp and paper industry have also contributed to the trend.
Fossil fuel greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and total energy use in Canada's forest industry, 2005–2015
|Year||Total energy use (petajoules)||GHG emissions (millions of tonnes of CO2 equivalent)|
Why is this indicator important?
- Scientists agree that there is a strong link between climate change and activities that burn fossil fuels and emit carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other GHGs.
- By monitoring the forest industry’s GHG emissions, we can assess the improvement of its emissions record over time.
What is the outlook?
- Technologies that reduce energy use and GHG emissions provide significant environmental benefits and reduce energy costs for manufacturers. Investments in these technologies are expected to continue and accelerate as Canada fully implements carbon pricing and a Clean Fuel Standard.
- Since overall reductions in GHG emissions will likely be tempered by increases in economic activity, GHG emissions and total energy use will likely continue to decline but at a slower rate.
What reporting frameworks does this indicator support?
- Montreal Process (MP): 5.c (157 Kb PDF)
Sources and information
- Environment and Climate Change Canada. 2018. National inventory report 1990–2016: Greenhouse gas sources and sinks in Canada (accessed April 13, 2018).
- Environment and Climate Change Canada’s National Inventory Report 1990–2016: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada is based on data and analysis from Natural Resources Canada–Canadian Forest Service’s National Forest Carbon Monitoring, Accounting and Reporting System.
- Natural Resources Canada. Comprehensive energy use database (accessed April 28, 2018).
- Residential End-Use Model, and Electricity Energy-Use Model
- Statistics Canada. 2018. Report on energy supply and demand in Canada (2016 preliminary) (accessed April 28, 2018).
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