How Canadian Energy Matches Up to the World: 12 Graphs

How Canadian oil and natural gas matches up to the world in graphs cover

Canada Action will be among the first to say that the world needs more Canadian oil and natural gas for many reasons, one being how we stack up against competitors on various human rights and environmental metrics.

Facts are facts. When it comes to responsible resource production, we beat out much of the competition.

Here are several graphs showing how Canada stacks up against other major energy producers and exporters globally, along with a short commentary on why they matter. Also see:

Graph #1 - Emissions Intensity of Largest Natural Gas Producers

Countrywide Average Emissions Intensity of natural gas producers 2022

The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) report The Oil and Gas Industry in Net Zero Transitions shows the countrywide average emissions intensity of the world’s largest oil and natural gas producers in Figure 2.4. We replicated these charts individually to show just how Canada stacks up against other major global natural gas producers with respect to emissions, which are below the global average and lower than some of the world’s top producers and exporters like China, Iran, Australia, and the USA.

While some nations have lower emissions than Canada, we must also take into account and treat with equal importance their rankings with respect to human rights, corruption, freedom, and others of the sort to get a full picture of which are the best natural gas supply sources.

Chart #2 - Emissions Intensity of the Largest Oil Producers

Countrywide average emissions intensity of largest oil producers 2022

Again, taken from the IEA’s report The Oil and Gas Industry in Net Zero Transitions, this graphic shows the countrywide average emissions intensity of the world’s largest oil producers. Canada’s ranking shows that we are below the global average, and despite having higher emissions with respect to the extraction, processing and refining of oil, we more than make up for it with our world-class methane venting and flaring regulations.

Once again, it is critical we also consider and treat with equal importance the rankings of countries for human rights, etc., to get a full picture of the best sources of supply.

Chart #3 - Average Emissions Intensities of LNG Export Facilities

Carbon intensity of global LNG projects - Canada vs, USA, Qatar, Australia

The above chart, adapted from Evaluate Energy, shows just how sustainable up-and-coming Canadian LNG projects are compared to other current facilities worldwide. Canada’s low-emission LNG is largely a result of the fact that these coastal facilities will use hydropower as a source of energy, significantly reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs) associated with the liquefaction of natural gas.

Additionally, Canada’s cold climate versus those on the Gulf Coast means less energy input is required to chill natural gas to -162 deg. Celsius for shipment via tanker across tidewater.

Chart #4 - Methane Flaring Volumes of Top 30 Countries

Gas flaring volumes of world's top 30 oil and gas producers - Canada vs. the World

Canada’s record on methane flaring is exemplary of its world-class regulations in place to reduce such emissions. Thanks to the Global Gas Flaring Tracker 2023 annual report, we see that Canada - despite being one of the largest oil and natural gas producers/exporters - has some of the lowest volumes of gas flaring in the world.

Comparatively, if we look at other top petroleum nations, we see that many such as Iraq, Nigeria, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the USA have higher methane flaring volumes than Canada.

Chart #5 - Canada’s Electricity Grid Emissions Intensity is World-Class

Canada's power grid is one of the cleanest in the world - electricity sector emissions per unit of power 2022

Adopted from a report by National Bank Financial’s Economics & Strategy division, the chart above shows just how “clean” Canada’s power grid is versus other nations of the world. Canadian electricity is produced with an emissions intensity that is well below the average for countries part of the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes nations such as Austria, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Kapan, Korea, and the United States to name a few members.

Canada’s clean electricity grid, where in provinces like British Columbia is more than 95% supplied by hydro, is a main reason why our West Coast facilities are expected to export some of the lowest GHG-intensive LNG in the world.

Chart #6 - Canadian Electricity Generation in 2021, by Source

Canada's electricity generation in 2021, by source

Just in case you’re wondering why Canada’s electricity grid is so clean, this chart representation above shows that the country gets over 82 per cent of its power from non-emission sources. Canada currently stands as the seventh-largest electricity producer and third-largest electricity exporter, all of which goes to the United States.

In many instances, this renewably produced electricity displaces more greenhouse gas (GHG) intensive forms of power generation south of the border and helps prevent the release of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every year.

Chart #7 - Canada Has Lowest Energy Subsidies of G20 Nations

Canada has lowest energy subsidies for coal, oil, natural gas, electricity amongst the G20 Nations - 2022

Opponents of Canada’s world-class energy sector often point to non-governmental organization (NGO) funded reports with questionable methodologies that suggest our country is one of the worst subsidizers of fossil fuels.

A recent report from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), sourced from a report by National Bank Financial, suggests otherwise. Of the G20 nations, the IMF found Canada to have the lowest subsidies for coal, oil, natural gas and electricity. 

Chart #8 - Canada’s Share of Global Emissions at Lowest Since 1906

Canada's share of global GHG emissions in 2022 lowest since 1906, showing world-class sustainability

More great insight from National Bank Financial on Canada’s share of global GHGs. According to the report, Canada is responsible for just 1.5% of global emissions, trending downward for many decades. This chart is indicative of the fact that as Western nations like Canada continue to reduce emissions, developing market economies like China and India are on the rise, and are ever increasingly hungry for affordable and abundant fossil fuel energy.

We need to start having balanced conversations about how Canada can continue to balance a prosperous economy and reduce emissions while helping our trade partners also decrease their reliance on more polluting forms of energy such as coal. Canadian LNG is ideally poised to displace coal-fired power plants across Asia and significantly reduce net global emissions - if only we let ourselves.

Chart #9 - Environmental, Social, Governance Scores for OPEC, Canada, Norway, China, India, U.S.

ESG Governance Scores for OPEC, Canada, Norway, China, India, U.S.

The chart above is also from the National Bank of Canada, this time comparing the relative environmental, social, and governance (ESG) scores for OPEC nations in addition to Canada, Norway, China, India and the United States. The evidence is clear that Western nations have very strong ESG scores, while the rest do not.

The question remains: where would we prefer to get our energy resources – from places with strong protections for human rights and the environment, or from much less transparent regimes with much poorer scores on ESG-related indices?

Chart #10 - Governance “Regulatory” Rankings for Major Oil Producers

Governange Regulatory Rankings - Canada and global oil producers

Adopted from BMO Capital Markets via the World Bank, this chart shows why Canadian oil and natural gas is the best choice for the world’s energy needs. Simply put, our governance “regulatory” scores shine above the rest on the list.

Who would you choose to buy your energy from – nations with better or worse regulations?

Chart #11 - Governance “Transparency” Rankings for Major Oil Producers

Canada ESG Charts BMO Capital Markets Governance Indicators Dec 2021-02

Adopted from BMO Capital Markets via the World Bank, this chart shows why Canadian oil and natural gas is the best choice for the world’s energy needs. Simply put, our governance “transparency” scores shine above the rest on the list.

Who would you choose to buy your energy from – more or less transparent producers?

Chart #12 - Governance “Accountability” Rankings for Major Oil Producers

Governance accountability rankings - ESG - Canada vs other global oil producers

Adopted from BMO Capital Markets via the World Bank, this chart shows why Canadian oil and natural gas is the best choice for the world’s energy needs. Simply put, our governance “accountability” scores shine above the rest on the list.

Who would you choose to buy your energy from - nations with more or less accountability?

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If you value sustainable and highly regulated supply chains with world-class protections for human rights and the environment, then Canada is a clear winner. As long as there is a global need for oil and natural gas, they should come from the most responsible producers - from places like Canada, there is no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

Learn more about Canada's world-class natural resources sector by joining us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube -- join hundreds of thousands of Canadians in balanced, fact-based and non-partisan discussions today!

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