25 Examples of GHG Emission Reductions in Canada's Natural Resource Sectors
Did you know that Canada's natural resource companies are global leaders in reducing emissions? From the constant opposition (and often misinformation) from protestors that these industries face, the good news about how Canadian resource companies continually reduce their environmental footprints isn’t well understood and often gets lost in public discourse.
Not enough is being done to showcase the incredible progress that Canada’s agriculture, energy, forestry and mining sectors have accomplished on GHG emissions reductions associated with the extraction and production of these resources.
We have compiled as many facts as we could find on past emission reductions in Canada’s world-class natural resource sectors for you below. Also see:
- B.C. LNG to Asia Could 'Save a Canada' in Global Emissions: REPORT
- COP27 Takeaways: A Pragmatic Viewpoint from Canada
- Renewable Energy in Canada: 33 Facts & Statistics
Emission Reductions in Canadian Natural Resources: 25 Facts
#1 - Since 1981, there has been a 10% reduction in net agricultural GHG emissions in Canada – primarily driven by beneficial management practices in the regions where crop production is most intensive 
#2 - Between 1990 and 2019, the carbon footprint of milk produced by Canadian farmers dropped by 24% on a per-litre basis 
#3 - Over the last 40 years, Canadian chicken farmers have adopted practices on the farm to reduce environmental impacts considerably, resulting in a 37% lower carbon footprint 
#4 - Between 1962 and 2012, Canadian egg farmers reduced their total GHG emissions by 72% 
#5 - Between 1981 and 2011, Canada’s canola farmers reduced their GHG emissions by 71% 
#6 - Canadian beef farmers are leading in sustainability efforts with the goal to reduce primary production GHG intensity by 33% by 2030 
#7 - Responsible farming practices allow Canadian farmers to sequester 11 million tonnes of GHGs in their fields each year, as long-term conservation tillage practices increase plant residues and reduce erosion, helping build and retain soil organic matter and the carbon stored within it 
#8 - Between 2000 and 2020, emissions from electricity production in Canada dropped by 56%, largely a result from coal power phase-out in Ontario 
#9 - Since 1995, Canada’s oil sands emissions intensity per barrle of production dropped by 44% 
#10 - From 2000 to 2020, Canada’s oil sands saw its average emissions intensity per barrel of oil production decrease by 33% due to technological and efficiency improvements, fewer venting emissions and reductions in the percentage of crude bitumen being upgraded to synthetic crude oil 
#11 - Since 2013, reported intensity among oil sands companies dropped 23% versus 13% for global majors 
#12 - Between 2000 and 2019, GHG emissions intensity in Canada’s conventional oil sector dropped by more than 32% 
#13 - With the application of planned innovations, Canada’s oil sands emissions intensity could drop another 20-30% within the near future 
#14 - 1Between 2000 and 2019, the GHG emissions intensity of Canadian natural gas production fell from 50 kilograms of CO2 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) in 2000 to just under 48 kgCO2/boe in 2019, an overall drop of nearly 5% 
#15 - Between 2011 and 2019, the GHG emissions intensity of Canadian natural gas production fell from about 61 kgCO2/boe to nearly 48 kgCO2/boe, a drop of about 22% 
#16 - Between 2000 and 2018, Canada’s methane emissions fell by 16%, even as the country’s oil production increased by 91% 
#17 - Canada’s oil and gas sector reduced its methane flaring emissions by 48% between 2014 and 2021, even as it expanded its crude oil production by 9% and its natural gas production by 16% over the same period 
#18 - Canada’s forest sector has reduced its GHG emissions by close to 70% since the early 1990s 
#19 - By 2030, Canada’s sustainably-managed forests will have pulled the equivalent of 30 megatonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – or 13% of Canada’s commitment under the Paris Agreement 
#20 - Canadian mining companies are constantly looking to maximize sustainability within their operations. Great examples of actions helping to reduce GHGs from various operators include :
i. Rio Tinto’ wind farm at the remote Diavik Diamond Mine in the Northwest territories – the first large-scale wind farm in the territory – has reduced the operations’ diesel consumption by 10% annually
ii. Teck is now using electric busses at its Elk Valley Mines to reduce energy use and emissions
iii. A number of Teck’s coal mines have switched from coal to natural gas for energy over the past decade, reducing more than 250,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent from entering the atmosphere annually
iv. Agnico Eagle’s Rail-Veyor system, consisting of six trains powered by 90 electric drive-stations along the rail, has significantly reduced its GHG emissions by having 10 fewer trucks in operation at its Goldex mine
v. Barrick’s Hemlo Mine was recognized by Natural Resources Canada for its innovative ventilation management program that reduced GHG emissions by 24% and lowered energy consumption by 10% between 2013 and 2015.
Canadian Natural Resources are World-Class
Canada is blessed to have an abundance of natural resources at its disposal, the extraction and production of which has made our country one of the wealthiest on the planet.
Whether it be lumber, oil, natural gas, minerals, metals or food, global consumption of these resources in various forms will continue to grow as the world approaches 10 billion in population by 2050.
In short, the world will need a lot more of all the raw materials and manufactured products that Canada has over the next several decades.
As long as the world needs these natural resources, they should come from the most sustainable, reliable and democratic countries on the planet.
Canada is committed to reducing emissions associated with natural resource production, as exemplified above. And with continued efforts by our home-grown companies and collaboration with various levels of government, our country can do even more to mitigate the environmental impacts associated with these critical industries.
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Did you know that Manitoba is a #renewable energy powerhouse?— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) May 8, 2023
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1 – Forest Products Association of Canada - https://www.fpac.ca/areas/environment-sustainability
2 – Canola Council of Canada – Sustainability Report 2019 – Date Accessed: April 2023 (https://www.ccga.ca/policy/Documents/Sustainability-201909.pdf)
3 – Canola Council of Canada - file:///C:/Users/ccgra/Downloads/moving-forward-2022-web.pdf
4 – Canola Council of Canada - https://www.canolacouncil.org/sustainability/environmental/carbon-reduction-sequestration/
5 - 9 - CISION Newswire - Grain Growers of Canada to lead ‘Road to 2050’ net-zero emissions initiative, Date Accessed: April 2023 (https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/grain-growers-of-canada-to-lead-road-to-2050-net-zero-emissions-initiative-811944466.html)
6 - Dairy Farmers of Canada - How We’re Reducing Emissions, Date Accessed: April 2023 (https://dairyfarmersofcanada.ca/en/our-commitments/sustainability/emissions)
7 – Group AGECO - Streamlined Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Canadian Pork Production, Date Accessed: April 2023 (https://www.cpc-ccp.com/uploads/userfiles/files/GroupeAGECO_LCApork_FINAL%20updated%20report.pdf)
8 – Egg Farmers of Canada – Sustainability Report 2019 – Date Accessed: April 2023 (https://www.eggfarmers.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/2020-11-18_Egg-Farmers-of-Canada_Sustainability-Report-2019.pdf)
9 – Canadian Cattlemen – Canadian beef industry encourages investment in ag research to drive further methane reduction – Date Accessed: April 2023 (https://www.canadiancattlemen.ca/news/canadian-beef-industry-encourages-investment-in-ag-research-to-drive-further-methane-reduction/)
10 – Natural Resources Canada – Energy Factbook 2022-2023 – Date Accessed: April 2023 (https://publications.gc.ca/collections/collection_2022/rncan-nrcan/M136-1-2022-eng.pdf)
11 – Canadian Energy Centre – 50 facts about oil and gas – Date Accessed: April 2023 (https://www.canadianenergycentre.ca/50-facts-about-oil-and-gas-a-summary-research-brief/)
12 – BMO Capital Markets – Survivor Canada: The Unparalleled Position of Canadian Oil in a Transition Challenge – Date Accessed: April 2023 (https://www.canadaaction.ca/canadian-oilsands-best-choice-for-future-supply)
13 – Mining Association of Canada – Climate Change Initiatives and Innovations in the Mining Industry – Date Accessed: April 2023 (https://mining.ca/our-focus/climate-change/climate-change-initiatives-and-innovations-in-the-mining-industry/)
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