EcoWeek,  November 6, 2006

CELA, Environmental Defence report leading GHG emitters on PollutionWatch site

The latest data posted on the PollutionWatch Web site ( by Environmental Defence and the Canadian Environmental Law Association (CELA) show that 321 facilities across Canada emitted 278,890,313 tonnes of greenhouse gases, as carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). The groups say this is more than one-third (37%) of the country's total emissions and more than all of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from cars, trucks, planes and trains combined. The figures, based on GHG emissions data reported by industry to the federal government, cover emissions for 2004, and were reported by individual facilities in June 2005.

Facilities in Alberta and Ontario together accounted for 66% of the total GHG emissions from all national facilities in 2004. Alberta led the country in total GHG emissions, at 109.5 million tonnes of CO2e), followed by Ontario with 77.3 million tonnes and Quebec, with 23 million tonnes.

Fossil fuel power generation and non-conventional oil extraction were the top-ranked GHG-emitting sectors, with facilities in these two sectors making up eight and two, respectively of the top ten emitting facilities. The number one facility was TransAlta Utilities' Sundance coal-fired generating station in Alberta (16.5 million tonnes CO2e), followed by Ontario Power Generation's (OPG) Nanticoke coal-fired plant (14.7 million tonnes CO2e). Ranked third and fourth were the two oil sands operations: Syncrude's Mildred Lake and Aurora North sites, followed by Suncor Energy's oil sands development.

Ten companies accounted for just over 43% of all GHG emissions by reporting companies. OPG and TransAlta Utilities took first and second place, respectively, accounting for 24.9 million tonnes (9%) and 22.7 million tonnes (8%) CO2e. They were followed by SaskPower (13.7 million tonnes); Alberta Power 2000 (11.9 million tonnes); Nova Scotia Power (10.6 million tonnes); Syncrude (10.4 million tonnes); Suncor Energy Oil Sands (8.6 million tonnes); Epcor Generation (6.9 million tonnes); Petro-Canada (5.7 million tonnes); and Dofasco (4.9 million tonnes).

A breakdown of specific GHGs shows that 318 facilities reported more than 260 million tonnes of CO2 emissions; 289 facilities reported more than 7.4 million tonnes CO2e of methane (CH4) emissions; 280 facilities reported 6.3 million tonnes CO2e of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions; 34 facilities reported more than 24,000 tonnes CO2e of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) emissions; 11 facilities reported more than 2.7 million tonnes CO2e og perfluorocarbon (PFC) emissions; and nine facilities reported two million tonnes CO2e of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions.

Based on the PollutionWatch analysis, CELA and Environmental Defence recommend that Environment Canada pursue several relevant priorities, including:

*establishing regulated targets and timelines for reducing GHGs from Canada's large final emitters such that the targets can apply beginning on January 1, 2008. These targets should be proportionate to this sector's contribution to Canada's total emissions;

*a requirement for mandatory pollution prevention plans from all facilities reporting greenhouse gases, as well as those facilities reporting under the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI);

*significantly reductions in subsidies to fossil fuel energy sources;

*a renewed commitment to initiatives and programs that support and promote alternative energy technology and energy saving devices; and

*a requirement for the public release of verified GHG emissions data within six months after the deadline for reporting.

PollutionWatch, a collaborative project of Environmental Defence and CELA, tracks releases and transfers of pollutants across Canada based on data collected by Environment Canada through the National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) and GHG emissions based on the federal government's mandatory GHG reporting program. It should be noted that NPRI and the mandatory GHG reporting program do not include data from all pollutants or sources. More information is available on the PollutionWatch web site (

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