Provincial Inventory - Frequently Asked Questions

What is the British Columbia Provincial Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory (Provincial Inventory)?
The Provincial Inventory lists province-wide greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and removals for the 1990 to 2016 calendar years. The inventory covers all of the emissions included in the province’s GHG targets. It also includes emissions from changes in land use and forest management for information purposes only.   

How is the 2016 Provincial Inventory format different from that of previous years?
Since the 2014 Provincial Inventory, B.C. has published the inventory in an accessible table format. From the 2016 Provincial Inventory onwards, a Methodology Book (PDF) and a Method Changes and Exceptions Table (PDF) replace the previous practice of publishing the full report every two years.  The Methodology Book provides a general understanding of the methodology and data sources used by Environment and Climate Change Canada in preparing the National Inventory Report, explains the methodologies used for those emission line items directly compiled by B.C. and serves as a reference source for evaluating effectiveness of mitigation policies on GHG emissions in B.C.

What is included in the Provincial Inventory Method Changes and Exceptions Table?
The Provincial Inventory Method Changes and Exceptions Table (PDF) tracks changes to and deviations from the methodology described in Methodology Book (PDF) for the British Columbia Greenhouse Gas Inventory and should be read alongside the Methodology Book. This table is released annually along with the inventory. It documents all instances over time where a permanent or long-term change, single-year or short run change to methodology has been made, including all instances where a B.C. derived value is used for a given line item in place of that reported in Canada’s National Inventory Report (NIR).

Does the 2016 Provincial Inventory include any change to the 2007 baseline?
The 2016 Provincial Inventory includes updates to the 2007 baseline due to “back-casting,” a process through which any new or improved methodologies or findings are applied not only to the current year, but also to all prior years as applicable. This ensures the comparability of data over time. The 2015 Provincial Inventory reported 2007 GHG emissions at 64.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e); in the 2016 inventory, the figure has been revised to 63.6 Mt CO2e. The 2007 emissions may be revised again in future years to address improvements in national and international GHG inventory methods. 

What is the source for greenhouse gas estimates in the Provincial Inventory?
BC’s methodology is described in the Provincial Inventory Methodology Book (PDF). Greenhouse gas estimates for most sectors are taken from the National Inventory Report 1990-2016: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada, Canada’s Submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Estimates for mining, upstream oil and gas production, domestic navigation and railway sectors are calculated by the Climate Action Secretariat. 

What methods were used to calculate mining and upstream oil and gas production sector emissions?
Mining and upstream oil and gas production sector emissions for B.C. in the National Inventory Report differed from emissions amounts from direct industry reporting under the B.C. Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act, Emission Reporting Regulation and from a report commissioned by Environment and Climate Change Canada regarding these emission sources. The emissions for this line item in the 2016 Provincial Inventory were estimated using data from the Environment and Climate Change Canada report in combination with known natural gas production levels and mining sector emissions. Further detail on BC’s methodology is described in the Provincial Inventory Methodology Book (PDF).

How does the Climate Action Secretariat work with Environment and Climate Change Canada and other federal agencies on greenhouse gas estimates?
Climate Action Secretariat staff work with federal agencies to review methods, improve data and cross-check greenhouse gas emission estimates annually.

How does the Climate Action Secretariat work with other provincial ministries on the annual provincial greenhouse gas inventory?
Climate Action Secretariat staff work closely with other B.C. ministries throughout the year to ensure that information contained in the Provincial Inventory is as accurate as possible and consistent with other government data. 

Why does some of the B.C. emissions data in the Provincial Inventory differ from the B.C. data in the National Inventory Report?
The Provincial Inventory includes disaggregated GHG estimates for the afforestation and deforestation categories that are estimated in the National Inventory Report but are not disaggregated to the B.C. level. The National Inventory Report includes known discrepancies in the mining and upstream oil and gas production estimates. Domestic navigation and railways estimates that are not provided by ECCC for 2016 have been re-calculated by B.C. These differences are documented in the Provincial Inventory Methodology Book (PDF) and the Provincial Inventory Method Changes and Exceptions Table (PDF).

Are international air and marine travel emissions reported?
These emissions are not reported in the National Inventory Report nor in the Provincial Inventory as they are not included in international guidelines on assembly of national inventories (IPCC/UNFCCC guidelines). Emissions from air and marine travel originating in B.C. and ending within Canada are included in the Provincial Inventory. 

Why are B.C. thermal electricity imports not included in the reported provincial emissions?
These emissions are not reported in the National Inventory Report since they occur outside of the province and are not included in international guidelines on assembly of national inventories (IPCC/UNFCCC guidelines). These emission sources are reported in the jurisdiction in which the electricity is generated.

What are "memo items"?
Memo items are Provincial Inventory items presented for information and transparency purposes but not included in the provincial GHG emissions total. 

Why are unconverted forest land, wetland, cropland and settlement emissions not included in the provincial total?
These emission categories are presented as memo items and are not currently counted towards the provincial total because: (1) Environment and Climate Change Canada does not include these emissions in national totals; (2) emissions from these categories are both large and volatile due to natural causes largely outside of human control (such as wildfire and pests). 

Why are afforestation and deforestation included within the provincial emissions total?
Afforestation and deforestation are included because: (1) adequate quantification methods are available that do not lead to a tendency to over- or under-estimate B.C.’s reported emission levels; (2) there is greater direct human control over these emissions than other forestry sources; and (3) B.C. indicated in its 2008 Climate Action Plan that actions to address forest-related emissions were an important part of reaching greenhouse gas targets. 

Why are the slash pile burning GHG emissions reported in 2016 when they were not reported in 2015?
There were issues with the slash pile burning estimate reported by Environment and Climate Change Canada in 2015. B.C. has decided to publish an estimate for 2016 as the programming error was fixed.

Why are emissions from domestic navigation and railways in 2016 flagged as an issue by ECCC? How is B.C. reporting them?
The National Inventory Report has suppressed these values for confidentiality reasons. B.C. is reporting the value for domestic navigation and railways despite these being suppressed in the National Inventory Report. B.C. has calculated these emissions based on data in the Report on Energy Supply and Demand by Statistics Canada, which is the source data used by ECCC in the National Inventory Report.

Why are emissions not broken down by industry?
The data collected for the National Inventory Report–from which the Provincial Inventory takes its estimates–comes from various sources and is not completely disaggregated to conventional industry sectors. Industrial GHG emissions in B.C. are published under the B.C. Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting Regulation.

How does the Provincial Inventory relate to other B.C. government initiatives involving greenhouse gas emissions data — such as Carbon Neutral Government and facility reporting under the B.C. Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting Regulation?
The Provincial inventory provides a comprehensive picture of province-wide GHG emissions. Other reporting initiatives provide GHG information for components of the B.C. economy to address specific objectives that may have differing data, analysis and communications needs.