The report also uses other methods, such as satellite data to observe changes in land use. Minister Guilbeault again noted that Canada’s reporting is in line with IPCC guidelines, and added that the country regularly works to improve its methods.
Over the years, the federal government has made refinements to the inventory report. For instance, there were changes between last year and this year’s reports, Guilbeault said. For instance, Canada has been working on better reporting on methane, fugitive emissions (such as accidental leaks) and the social cost of greenhouse gases. This year’s GHG inventory includes updated historic data on forest land use in provinces including Alberta and British Columbia.
The 268-page inventory report also includes a section about proposed changes, including “but are not limited to, the development of new or updated activity data, improved algorithms, independent validation or calibration leading to the refinement of parameters.”
Minister Guilbeault said that the ECCC has been “having ongoing meetings” with researchers, environmental groups and even companies about ways to improve its methodologies to track and report on forestry and oil and gas emissions. One such company is Montreal-based GHGSat, which collects emissions data using satellites mounted with high-resolution sensors, enabling them to link emissions directly with their source, according to the company’s website.
New technologies and methods to measure emissions are developed frequently, Minister Guilbeault said. These could change how Canada operates, or, potentially, the federal government could “work with the international community” so the methods can be the “new international norm,” he added.
The IPCC “won’t change the international reporting system based on one study. But if more studies come out, pointing in that direction, there could be a rationale there,” he said.