Published On: April 14, 2023

For immediate release.

Unceded Algonquin Anishinaabe Territories [OTTAWA], 14 April 2023:

The National Inventory Report (NIR) released today by the federal government shows that Canada’s 2021 greenhouse gas emissions fell by 8.4% below 2005 levels – a promising start, but a sign that stronger action is necessary for Canada to cut its emissions at the scale needed by 2030.

“The big takeaway from this year’s National Inventory Report is that climate policy is working – and that we need more of it,” said Caroline Brouillette, Interim Executive Director of Climate Action Network Canada.

“Despite a small rebound after pandemic shutdowns, the overall trend suggests that after years of plateauing, Canada is finally starting to bend its emissions curve. Canada is just beginning on this trajectory, with visible effects from the methane regulations and the coal-fired electricity phase-out. For Canada to do its fair share of the effort to limit warming to 1.5°C, and for Canadians to benefit from good jobs, healthier air, lower energy costs, more liveable communities and a more just society, climate action must be embedded in everything, everywhere, all at once.”

  • Emissions from Canada’s two highest-polluting sectors, oil and gas (28% of national emissions) and transportation (22%), are still increasing. A robust oil and gas emissions cap and Zero-Emissions Vehicle standard are necessary to address these sectors’ emissions, or they will continue to hold back progress and prevent Canada from meeting its climate goals.

  • Coal phase-out has had a noticeable impact on emissions – but this progress has been partially offset by an increase in natural gas consumption, pointing to the need for rigorous Clean Electricity Regulations.

  • The NIR does not report on emissions from Canadian fossil fuels exported and burned abroad – but these “exported” emissions are even higher than the emissions released within Canada’s borders and the most recent data shows they have continued to rise until at least 2019. Canada must take responsibility for all its pollution and begin accounting for the gargantuan carbon footprint from its fossil fuel exports.

  • The government once again does not fully report the greenhouse gas emissions associated with logging and wood use. While the government is promising changes in methodology in 2024, in the meantime, this lack of data risks underreporting Canada’s actual emissions and underestimating the need for changes in the forestry sector.

  • Canada has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030. Climate Action Network Canada’s analysis shows that for Canada to take on its fair share of the global climate effort, in line with its capacity and historical responsibility, it must cut emissions by 60% by 2030.


Canada’s farthest-reaching network of organizations working on climate and energy issues, Climate Action Network – Réseau action climat (CAN-Rac) Canada is a coalition of 150 organizations operating from coast to coast to coast. Our membership brings environmental groups together with trade unions, First Nations, social justice, development, health and youth organizations, faith groups and local, grassroots initiatives.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Vicky Coo, Communications Lead