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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 Efficiency

Energy efficiency measures the amount of energy required to produce a certain amount of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The more energy efficient a country becomes, the lower the environmental impacts of both producing and using energy, unless economic growth and population growth out-pace increases in energy efficiency.

Energy efficiency not only has environmental implications but also economic consequences. Weak energy efficiency undermines a country’s international competitiveness because using more energy generally means goods and services are produced at a higher cost.

Canada’s OECD Ranking
Canada ranks a dismal 28th out of 29 OECD countries in terms of energy efficiency, behind countries like Mexico, Turkey, Poland and Portugal that are not noted for their energy efficiency. Canada is 33% less energy efficient than our major trading partner, the United States. The only OECD nation that is less energy efficient than Canada is Iceland.

Canada uses 0.30 tonnes of oil equivalent to generate $1,000 U.S. worth of GDP, almost two times the OECD average.

Trend
There is hope to be found in the fact that Canada’s energy efficiency has increased considerably, by 21%, since 1980. However, many OECD nations experienced greater energy efficiency gains than Canada over the same period, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

More importantly, the gains from increasing energy efficiency were more than offset by Canada’s growing population and economic growth, so that total energy consumption continued to increase. As noted earlier, between 1980 and 1997, Canadian energy consumption grew by 20.3%.

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