Trends in Greenhouse Gas Emissions in B.C. (1990-2014)

  • The climate is changing because of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gas emissions warm the global atmosphere and cause our climate to change. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a key component to limiting the increase in global average temperature and the resulting change in climate.
  • Total greenhouse gas emissions in 2014 in B.C. were 64,500 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. Changes over three and ten year periods provide an indication of trends in emissions over time. There is a 2.7% increase in emissions since 2011 and a 9% decrease in emissions since 2004. Greenhouse gas emission estimates reported here are from the British Columbia Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory (2014) and do not include forest management offsets. In 2014, offsets from forest management projects totalled 1,800 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent and are included towards B.C.'s Progress to Targets. When these forest management offsets are included, B.C.'s greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 5.5% since 2007.1
  • British Columbians are generating fewer greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gas emissions per person have declined over the past decade and stabilized in recent years in B.C. Greenhouse gas emissions per unit gross domestic product—a measure of the size of the economy—are on the decline in B.C.
  • Most greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. come from producing and using energy. The energy sector produces the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions in B.C. Major sources for energy sector emissions include transportation and stationary combustion sources, such as heating buildings.
  • Everyone can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia. LiveSmart BC can help you make sustainable choices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save you money at home, at work and on the road.

Tip: Click or tap on the name or graph of each measure below to learn more about trends in greenhouse gas emissions and how they are changing in British Columbia.

Line graph showing total GHG emissions in B.C. Line graph showing GHG emissions per capita in B.C.
Line graph showing GHG emissions per unit GDP in B.C. Line graph showing GHG emissions, GDP and Population Size in B.C.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Sector

  • Greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to five defined sectors: energy, industrial processes and product use, agriculture, waste and afforestation and deforestation.
  • The energy sector, which includes numerous sources relating to energy production, storage and use, produces the largest amount of greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia. However, much of the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions since the 2000's in B.C. are attributed to increased energy efficiency across the various energy sub-sectors.4
Chart showing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions by each of 5 major sectors over time in British Columbia.

Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions within the Energy Sector

  • The energy sector includes emissions grouped into three main energy sub-sectors: 1) stationary combustion sources such as boilers, turbines, engines, heaters; 2) transport such as road vehicles and marine and jet engines; and 3) fugitive emissions. Fugitive emissions are unintentional emissions from the processing, transmission and storage of fossil fuels.
  • A few of the larger sources of greenhouse gas emissions within the energy sector include transportation, such as driving cars, and stationary combustion sources, such as heating buildings, from both industry and residential dwellings.
Chart showing the sources of greenhouse gas emissions within the energy sector in British Columbia.

Methods

See the British Columbia Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory (2014) for further details. The R code for creating the graphs presented on this page is available on GitHub.

Data

*By accessing these datasets, you agree to the license associated with each file, as indicated in parentheses below.

Updated August 2016