Reducing Greenhouse Gases

The Government of Canada is committed to addressing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while keeping the Canadian economy strong. We are achieving success - from 2005 to 2012, Canadian GHG emissions have decreased by 5.1 per cent while the economy has grown by 10.6 per cent.

The 2013 Canada’s Emissions Trends report estimates that, as a result of the combined efforts of federal, provincial and territorial governments, consumers and businesses, GHG emissions in 2020 will be 734 megatonnes (Mt). This is 128 Mt lower than where emissions would be in 2020 if no action were taken to reduce GHGs since 2005.


Regulating Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Transportation

The transportation sector makes up approximately 25 percent of Canada’s emissions, and Canada has worked collaboratively with the U.S. towards common North American standards for greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

Passenger Vehicles and Light Trucks

In 2014, final regulations limiting emissions from cars and light trucks model years 2017 and beyond were released, building on the final regulations already in place for model years 2011-2016. As a result of the regulations, it is projected that the average greenhouse gas emissions from 2025 vehicles will be reduced by about 50% from those sold in 2008.

Heavy-duty Vehicles

With regards to heavy-duty vehicles, in 2014 the Government of Canada announced that it intends to start developing more stringent standards to further reduce GHG emissions and fuel consumption from post-2018 model year heavy-duty vehicles and engines, building on existing regulations for the 2014 to 2018 model years. As a result of the existing regulations, GHG emissions from 2018 model-year heavy-duty vehicles will be reduced by up to 23 per cent.

Electricity

Though Canada’s electricity system is already one of the cleanest in the world, we have taken steps towards developing an even cleaner electricity grid.

In September 2012, final regulations to reduce emissions from the coal-fired electricity sector were released. These regulations apply a stringent performance standard to new coal-fired electricity generation units and to coal-fired units that have reached the end of their economic life.

Renewable Fuels

We are also following through on our commitment to regulate renewable content in the fuel supply. As of December 15, 2010, gasoline is required to contain an average five per cent renewable content. These regulations are one pillar of the Government's broader Renewable Fuels Strategy. As a further step, we have implemented a 2 per cent renewable fuel requirement for diesel fuel.

Other Sectors

As part of the Government of Canada’s climate change plan, regulated GHG performance standards will be developed for the remaining major sources of emissions, with a focus on the oil and gas sector and other industrial emitters.

Hydrofluorocarbons

In 2014, the Government of Canada announced that it intends to regulate hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Regulating HFCs will enable Canada to reduce and limit potent greenhouse gas emissions which, if left unregulated, are expected to increase substantially in the next 10 to 15 years.