Canada's Population Share Emission Gaps

The limit on the amount of CO2 that the atmosphere can safely contain is known as the carbon budget. There will be different limits depending upon the maximum global temperature increase that is acceptable.

How long before Canada uses up its population-based share of the carbon budget?

Canada used up our population-based share of the global carbon budget for a 66% chance of keeping global temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees C before 2014. Our share is 2,000 MtCO2 but our cumulative emissions were 2,270 MtCO2 by 2014.

If Canada follows our current targets we will exceed our share (based on our share of the global population) of the global carbon budget for less than 2 degrees before 2020 (and for less than 3 degrees before 2040).

A comparison of possible population-based share targets

This table compares our current emission reduction targets with what they should be to if we want to remain under our population-based share of the carbon budgets for temperature increases remaining below 2 or 3 degrees.

Current targets
Below 2 degrees
Below 3 degrees
2020 17% 63% 13%
2025   100%  
2030 30%   46%
2040     79%
2050 80%   100%