Mass immigration is largest contributor to Canada’s population growth and GHG emissions

Mass immigration is largest contributor to Canada’s population growth and GHG emissions

By John Meyer,

Canadians for a sustainable society

Did you know that Canadians are among the highest per capita producers of climate changing carbon emissions in the world?!  Per person, we release more than 3 times the world average!

Our high consumption of fossil fuels is because of:

  • The large vehicles we drive and the distance we drive them
  • Poor public transit
  • Large houses
  • High material consumption
  • Travel
  • Our huge country and the great distances to travel between provinces
  • Cold climate
  • Our resource intensive economy

The Kyoto Accord covered greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2012.  Of the 58 signatories, Canada posted the second worst record, with emissions actually increasing by 21% instead of being reduced by 6%.

The fact that Canada came in 27% over its target speaks to the complete lack of science and clear national policy to guide GHG  (green house gas) reduction in this country.   The common consensus of what caused this massive overshoot is that the oil sands are to blame.  Oil sands emissions have increased dramatically and perfectly fit the profile of a well-rounded environmental disaster so it is easy to understand why people have looked no further for any other source.

But oil sands emissions only account for 70 mega tons of the 156 megatonnes that Canada’s emissions went up from 1990 to 2012.  Additionally, Ontario saw a reduction of 30 megatonnes by replacing coal-fired electrical generators with natural gas generators.

So, in effect, the combined increases in GHG emissions totaled 186 megatonnes.  Subtracting the oil sands contributions leaves 116 megatonnes unaccounted for.

So what are these ‘Mystery Emissions’??  Governments don’t mention them or account for them in their forecasts. Media corporations won’t mention them by name.

Here’s the thing.  Each year every Canadian emits over 20 tons of GHG’s.  From 1990 to 2012, Canada’s population increased by over 6 million people, the vast majority of which was caused by mass immigration.  The increase of 6 million people multiplied by their 20 ton emissions equals 120 megatonnes and accounts very well for the 116 megatonnes of ‘Mystery emissions”.

The main source of Canada’s dismal carbon emissions record is clear.  The “Mystery emissions” result from population growth due to immigration and childbirth

The carbon footprint of immigrants into Canada typically increases by a factor of 10 when they arrive here.  And for some source countries, new immigrants increase their carbon footprint by over 60 times above what they produced in their source countries (e.g., Haiti).

So we  ask, “WHICH IS WORSE” for Carbon Emissions?

A) MASS IMMIGRATION (What Surrey Sky Train Station could look like in 2030)
Mass Immigrations produces huge increases in carbon emissions in Canada!


Canada's Oil Sands produce MUCH LESS carbon than Mass Immigration does.

Canada simply can’t meet its emission reduction responsibilities with mass immigration still taking place.

Mass immigration is the largest contributor to our growth and GHG emissions.  The real mystery is why no government agency or media is talking about it.

Canada cannot continue to miss its GHG emissions targets and remain in the dark as to why.  We must have a full accounting of all sources if we are to have a realistic chance of meeting our responsibilities to the international community and to future generations.

Our institutions must stop stonewalling on the impacts of population growth whether it stems from mass immigration or domestic birth rates.

If we don’t have the full picture, how can we deliver lasting solutions?


Below is a link to Canadians for a Sustainable Society’s  youtube video on the extra “mystery” emissions generated by immigration. To view, click on the arrow.