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Data Sources and Methods for the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Indicators

3. Data

3.1 Data source

The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions indicators are based on GHG emissions data taken from Environment Canada's National Inventory Report 1990–2013: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada. Data used to develop the emission and removal estimates presented in the National Inventory Report (NIR) are drawn from published and unpublished sources from various government departments, industry sources and scientific papers. The methods used to prepare the emission and removal estimates are consistent with internationally accepted Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reference documents. Figures 1-2 and 1-3 of the NIR illustrate the inventory preparation process and show the main partners involved in preparing the annual inventory. A comprehensive list detailing all data sources (disaggregated by sector and sub-sector) can be found in chapters 3 through 7 of the NIR.

3.2 Spatial coverage

GHG emission estimates are provided at the national and provincial/territorial levels.

3.3 Temporal coverage

GHG emission and removal estimates are compiled annually and reported for the period 1990 to 2013. Complete details of the temporal coverage for each data source used for the indicators can be found in chapters 1 (section 1.2.2) and 3 through 7 of the NIR.

3.4 Data completeness

Although the GHG emissions indicators are comprehensive, some emission sources have not been included in the indicators because they are not reported in the NIR. Owing to their relatively small contributions to the total emissions, these excluded sources do not significantly affect the overall completeness of the inventory. A detailed explanation of the excluded emission sources can be found in Annex 5 of the NIR. In addition, emissions and removals from the land-use, land use change and forestry sector are excluded from national totals and subsequently not reported as part of the GHG emission indicators.

3.5 Data timeliness

The data included in the indicators cover the period from 1990 through the end of 2013. Preparation of the GHG emissions inventory takes almost 16 months from the end of the last reporting year because of the time needed to collect, validate, calculate and interpret the data.

Between November and January, emission estimates are prepared by Environment Canada's Pollutant Inventories and Reporting Division with input from numerous experts and scientists across Canada. From January through March, the NIR text and accompanying emission data tables are developed. This material is reviewed by external experts and Environment Canada officials, and finally submitted electronically to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), typically by mid-April.