The chart above breaks down Canada’s 1990 and 2005 emissions by province. It shows emissions of all greenhouse gasses, measured in megatonnes of CO2 equivalent. It is interesting both in terms of totals and in terms of rates of change. The only jurisdiction where emissions declined was the Yukon, where they fell from 0.6 to 0.4 Mt CO2e. One obvious fact demonstrated by this chart is that it is possible to address Canadian emissions to a significant extent by focusing on just two provinces, with another three making more modest but still substantial contributions.
This chart shows the population distribution between the provinces in 2005:
Of course, it is unfair to directly compare emissions with population. When a driver in Ontario drives using gasoline extracted from the oil sands, Ontario bears some responsibility for those emissions. This is akin to the relationship between emissions and world trade, as discussed before. Even so, there is an obvious disjoint between the level of emissions in Alberta and their share of the Canadian population.
To reach a sustainable level of emissions, it will be necessary for everybody to cut their emissions significantly. That being said, the disaggregation of data can help us to make better choices about where to prioritize. From that perspective, the provincial policies of Ontario and Alberta start to look very important indeed.