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 2017 calendar years. The inventory covers 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 2017 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, an annually updated 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 details of the methodology and data sources used by B.C. in preparing the Provincial Inventory, including references to Canada’s National Inventory Report for line items taken directly from the federal inventory, and explains the methodologies used for those emission line items directly compiled by 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 GHG Inventory and should be read alongside the Methodology Book. This table is released annually along with the inventory. It documents instances where a permanent or long-term change, single-year or short run change to methodology has been made, including 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 2017 Provincial Inventory include any change to the 2007 baseline?
The 2017 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 2016 Provincial Inventory reported 2007 GHG emissions at 63.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e); in the 2017 inventory, the figure has been revised to 64.8 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 GHG estimates in the Provincial Inventory?
B.C.’s methodology is described in the Provincial Inventory Methodology Book (PDF). The GHG estimates are taken from the National Inventory Report 1990-2017: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada, Canada’s Submission to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

How does the Climate Action Secretariat work with Environment and Climate Change Canada and other federal agencies on GHG estimates?
The Climate Action Secretariat works 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 GHG inventory?
The Climate Action Secretariat works 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. 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 or 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 GHG targets. 

Why are emissions not broken down by industry?
The data collected for the National Inventory Report, which the Provincial Inventory uses for its estimates, come from various sources and are not completely disaggregated to conventional industry sectors. Industrial GHG emissions from facilities emitting over 10,000 tonnes of CO2e annually 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 GHG 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.

What implications does back-casting of Provincial Inventory data have on the CleanBC modelling results?
B.C.’s CleanBC modelling is updated every year to reflect the latest Provincial Inventory and aligned to past emissions trends across the various sectors including changes through back-casting. When this is done to align with the new 2017 Provincial Inventory, the emissions reductions achieved by each policy in CleanBC could change. While back-casting typically results in relatively minor changes to past provincial emissions data, it could alter the current projected emission reduction gap to meet the 2030 target. Updated sector emission totals may lead to further evaluation and refinement of current CleanBC programs and policies as well as those still in development. It is B.C.’s intention to publish the updated modelling each year as part of the annual report to be tabled in the legislature as outlined in the accountability framework section of CleanBC.