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


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 November 2012, proposed regulations limiting emissions from passenger vehicles and light trucks model years 2017 and beyond were released, building on the final regulations 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 February 2013 the Government of Canada released final regulations limiting emissions for the 2014 and later model years. Through the implementation of the standards, it is anticipated that the average greenhouse gas emissions from 2018 heavy-duty vehicles will be reduced by up to 23 percent.


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.

Investing in Solutions

Carbon Capture and Storage

Canada is well-placed to be a global leader in the development and deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies. In recent years, Canada's federal and provincial governments have committed a total of approximately $3 billion in funding for CCS, which could lead to as many as five to six large-scale demonstration projects in Canada. In addition to taking significant action at home, Canada is actively involved in international efforts to advance the development and deployment of CCS technology.

Agricultural Greenhouse Gases

As well, Canada is one of the founding members of the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases, an international network of more than 30 member-countries devoted to collaboration in agricultural research on greenhouse gas mitigation and beneficial management practices for farmers in Canada and around the world. At its launch, Canada announced that it would invest $27 million towards the Global Research Alliance.

The Agricultural Greenhouse Gases Program (AGGP) represents Canada's initial contribution to the Global Research Alliance. AGGP will help Canadian farmers become more competitive and profitable through improved access to, and adoption of, beneficial management practices that help mitigate greenhouse gases. An initial $19.6 million has been approved for 18 projects and will bring farmers, the agricultural community and academia together to work towards a common goal of advancing research, technology transfer and adoption of beneficial management practices to mitigate agricultural greenhouse gases.