The oil and gas sector presents Ottawa with a carbon conundrum

The oil and gas sector presents Ottawa with a carbon conundrum

The federal government is fighting climate change by putting a price on carbon. But while the country’s greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) have increased by 18 per cent since 1990, some regions and industries have been able to reduce their output. The thorniest issue for Ottawa might be how to rein in the carbon footprint of the industry that drives Canada’s economy without damaging its competitiveness–the oil and gas sector.

Some Canadian provinces and territories have been able to cut their GHGs since 1990. But jurisdictions where the oil and gas industry drives the economy have had a harder time.


As Canada attempts to reduce GHG emissions, it’s worth noting that its emissions made up just 1.6 per cent of the Earth’s total as of 2013. Here are the top 10 emitting regions in the world as per their percentage share of global emissions.


The oil and gas industry is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases by economic sector in the country, representing 26 per cent of total emissions. However, the transportation industry isn’t far behind.


As the oil and gas industry has upped production since 1990, its emissions have gone up as well. They have increased 76 per cent, from 108 Mt in 1990 to 189.5 Mt in 2015. What follows is how much emissions have increased, by percentage, form the various sources since 1990.

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