Tool to Expose Greenhouse Gas Emitters in your Backyard

by Franke James

I always love it when I find a resource that helps people hold politicians and corporations accountable. Canadians can now rank greenhouse gas-emitting facilities by province, company, facility and postal code. The PollutionWatch web site uses greenhouse gas emissions data provided by industry to the federal government. The data, which cover emissions for 2004, were reported by individual facilities in June 2005.

“For the first time, Canadians now have a comprehensive picture of which facilities are the biggest greenhouse gas polluters in the country,” said Aaron Freeman, Policy and Campaigns Director, Environmental Defence. “It is these companies that will have to reduce the largest quantity of greenhouse gas emissions to ensure Canada meets our international obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.”

The PollutionWatch analysis found that Alberta leads the provinces in total greenhouse gas emissions reported by facilities with 109,503,697 tonnes CO2 equivalent, followed by Ontario (77,273,825 tonnes CO2 equivalent), and Quebec (22,904,613 tonnes CO2 equivalent).

“These numbers reinforce the need for the federal government to set mandatory, immediate greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said Hugh Benevides, counsel for the Canadian Environmental Law Association. “The federal government has the power to do this under existing legislation.”

Below is an excerpt from the press release issued by PollutionWatch. It is a collaborative project of Environmental Defence and the Canadian Environmental Law Association.

TORONTO, Oct. 11 /CNW/ – As the federal government rolls out its clean air and climate change package, Environmental Defence and the Canadian Environmental Law Association have released the most comprehensive publicly accessible online ranking and tracking of large industrial greenhouse gas emitters across Canada. Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, contribute to global climate change. The database, available on the PollutionWatch web site, shows that 321 facilities across Canada emitted 278,890,313 tonnes (CO2 equivalent) of greenhouse gases, more than one-third (37%) of the country’s total emissions. That’s more than the total greenhouse gas emissions from cars, trucks, planes and trains combined…

PollutionWatch also ranks reported emissions by sector and company. The fossil fuel electric power generation sector reported the highest total greenhouse gas emissions with 119,124,339 tonnes CO2 equivalent, followed by the non-conventional oil extraction sector (31,675,983 tonnes CO2 equivalent), and petroleum refineries (20,599,519 tonnes CO2 equivalent). The Top 10 Greenhouse Gas Emitters include fossil fuel power generation companies and oil and gas companies:

Top 10 Greenhouse Gas Emitters in 2004

1 Ontario Power Generation 24,887,358 ON 8.97%

2 Transalta Utilities Corporation 22,672,480 AB 8.17%

3 Saskatchewan Power Corporation 13,669,500 SK 4.93%

4 Alberta Power (2000) Ltd. 11,957,574 AB 4.31%

5 Nova Scotia Power Incorporated 10,570,678 NS 3.81%

6 Syncrude Canada Ltd. 10,367,463 AB 3.74%

7 Suncor Energy Inc. Oil Sands 8,599,254 AB 3.10%

8 EPCOR Generation Inc. 6,898,565 AB 2.49%

9 Petro-Canada 5,731,121 AB 2.07%

10 Dofasco Inc 4,863,485 ON 1.75%

Total Top 10 Companies 120,217,478 43%

Total all gases from all sources (from National Greenhouse Gas Inventory) 758,000,000

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