Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions rose slightly in 2021 as the country’s COVID-19 related shutdowns began to ease.
But overall emissions remained well below where they were before the pandemic hit, prompting sighs of relief at Environment and Climate Change Canada.
Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault says the latest emissions report is an “encouraging picture,” given that the increase was less than expected.
Overall in 2021 Canadians produced 670 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and its equivalents in methane, nitrous oxide and synthetic gases — 11 million more than in 2020.
That year, millions of Canadians stayed home, leaving cars idle, planes grounded and factories closed, and emissions plunged to their lowest level in more than two decades.
The oil and gas sector is still the single biggest contributor to Canada’s total global warming impact, producing more than one-quarter of emissions in 2021.