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Indicators
  Sulphur Dioxides
  Nitrogen Dioxides
  Volatile Organic Compounds
  Carbon Monoxide
  Greenhouse Gas Emissions
  Water Consumption
  Municipal Sewage Treatment
  Energy Consumption
  Energy Efficiency
  Municipal Waste
  Recycling
  Hazardous Waste
  Nuclear Waste
  Ozone Depletion
  Pesticide Use
  Fertilizer Use
  Livestock
  Species at Risk
  Protected Areas
  Fisheries
  Forests
  Road Vehicles
  Distance Traveled
  Population
  Official Development Assistance
   

 

 

ENERGY USE:
Energy Consumption

Consuming energy causes a wide range of health and environmental impacts, from the habitat loss associated with exploration for fossil fuels and the construction of hydroelectric facilities to the pollution resulting from the burning of fossil fuels.

Environmental impacts are caused by the actions required to produce energy, including oil and gas exploration and development, coal mining, and the construction of nuclear reactors, hydroelectric dams and reservoirs. Environmental impacts also include the pollution generated by burning oil, gas and coal or disposing of nuclear waste and the impacts of dams on aquatic ecosystems.

Fossil fuel combustion is the main source of three major air pollution problems – climate change, acid deposition and urban smog. According to Environment Canada, energy use produces 90% of Canada’s carbon dioxide emissions, 55% of sulphur dioxide emissions, 90% of nitrogen oxide emissions and 55% of volatile organic compound emissions.

Hydroelectric projects flood large tracts of land, have major impacts on river systems and cause the release of both methane (a greenhouse gas) and mercury (a toxic heavy metal). Nuclear power facilities require uranium mining and produce nuclear waste for which no safe disposal system currently exists.

Canada’s OECD Ranking
Canada ranks an embarrassing 27th out of 29 OECD nations in terms of energy use per capita. Canadians annually consume 6.19 tonnes of oil equivalent per capita. This is almost double the OECD average of 3.18 tonnes of oil equivalent per capita, and more than five times the world average. Only residents of Iceland and Luxembourg use more energy per capita than Canadians.

In 1997, in total, Canada used 187.5 million tonnes of oil equivalent. Canada ranks 26th out of 29 OECD nations for total energy use, with only the United States, Germany and Japan using more energy.

Trend
Between 1980 and 1997, total Canadian energy consumption grew by 20.3%, slightly higher than the average OECD increase of 18%.

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