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  1. The Climate-KIC team
  2. Ideating Climate Business
  3. Tuesday, 19 April 2016
After viewing the graphic for 'Ontario's 2012 Greenhouse Gas Emissions by sector' and the IPCC graphic, please answer the following questions:

Do you think the data is comparable?
Why do you think Ontario's emissions are different?
Does it reflect a good representation for developed western regions?
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Do you think the data is comparable?
Well, besides possibile different methodologies (about which I can't express for lack of information) of you sum up the indirect emissions in the relative sectors the data should be almost comparable. The big difference is the "Waste" sector in Ontario which is unknown how it's counted by IPCC.

Why do you think Ontario's emissions are different?
Because it's a developed country with less agricolture than average and bigger distances to cover.

Does it reflect a good representation for developed western regions?
Developed western regions are very different from one another economically and geographically, so it's better to either to work on average data or to focus on a particular country to make accurate climate policies.
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Higher emissions from the transport industry
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Do you think the data is comparable?
As mentionned below the two graphs are not really comparable since the one of the IPCC is realised at a global scale whereas the Ontario's graph is at a local scale.

Why do you think Ontario's emissions are different?
The Ontario seems to have an economy less based on the agriculture. Since the Ontario's rail system is not well developped their GHG emissions due to transportation are really high.

Does it reflect a good representation for developed western regions?
From my point of view the climatic conditions in Ontario are not representative of the developed western regions. The cold winter may be one reason for the low weight of agriculture in Ontario's economy. In Europa the agriculture is well developed with the Commom Agricultural Policy so the balance of the rate of GHG emissions should be different.
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Partly, the GHG emission chart reflects the country's economy (for example industry being a significantly larger emitter than Agriculture), but also the living standards, such as more GHG coming from buildings, especially residential.

Ontario seems to outsource many of its energy sourcing processes, otherwise the low direct GHG emissions of the energy sector are difficult to understand.
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Do you think the data is comparable?
No. Not only the scale is different (as mentioned above), but also the sectors scope differs (heat production is integrated in the different sectors in the Otario's graph - unlike the IPCC's).

Why do you think Ontario's emissions are different?
There are many possible reasons: one might be its economic activity (much less agricultural emissions, for instance), other its mobility system (higher transportation emissions) and another the monitoring and measurement of GHG.

Does it reflect a good representation for developed western regions?
I suspect that in most developed western regions, the percentage of agricultural emissions is low, as in the Ontario's case, but industry tends to be lower and buildings higher. Developed countries economic activity mostly depend on services.
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I think it is good to compare, but I didn't expect anything different. Focusing on a region, it is different that analyzing the entire world. Surely their agricultural percentage related to GHG is smaller because they import, plus in this percentage it is included for example deforestation. In Canada they obviously cut trees for limber production, but they also re-plant. I believe that if we would have considered the Amazon region, this percentage would have been surely higher.
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Generally, one can compare the graphs (both in %) but this should be done with caution. The different categories might not include the same components. Next, whereas for the IPCC data, including the whole world, it does not matter whether we consider production or consumption (one could choose either or and would get the same number), for a selected country this is different.
To my understanding Fig. 3 reports emissions generated by production. That could be an explanation of why there's such a discrepancy in numbers.
Agricultural products, for example, are most often imported into developed countries. Compared to the world average the agricultural sector is underrepresented, whereas the industrial sector is overrepresented - meaning that there's more industry in Ontario compared to an average country.

W.r.t. to agriculture it probably represent an average developed country. W.r.t to the industrial and transportation sector, it doesn't. As the numbers indicate, Ontario is rich in natural resources - this does not hold for most western regions.
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- Do you think the data is comparable?

As a general overview to compare global to regional data maybe, as both data are presented as percentage. However, we do not have enough detail on the methodology that was used to collect each data packet, so it would be unwise to use for detailed comparisons.

- Why do you think Ontario's emissions are different?

Emission rates depend on the state of development of a country, its population and economic activities - which all differ depending on country and region. Ontario's emission's do not reflect the global average. It's a developed western region who's economy is certainly no longer based on agriculture (most likely they import a lot), which would explain the ratio difference compared to the IPCC's global average. Also, AFOLU implies that it incorporates more sectors in it than just agriculture.

- Does it reflect a good representation for developed western regions?

Again, each region is unique and even in the west diversity between sectors can be large. In general I think it could be relatively representative for developed regions that have similar economic sectors (most of their population working in services, manufacturing in certain regions, some agriculture etc.)
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- Do you think the data is comparable?

Comparable to the extent that the numbers represent the split of where the emissions are coming from. Maybe different in terms of methodology for data collection. But for high level, directional comparisons, yes

- Why do you think Ontario's emissions are different?

Ontario is an interesting mix of rural & urban areas in a developed country, with a unique set of industries. So it will have drastically different emissions trends than a developing country like India, which comprise a large portion of global emissions. It should be expected that such different places would have different emissions patterns

- Does it reflect a good representation for developed western regions?

Different regions have mixes of urban and rural environments, so as long as you're comparing based on population density & size of the region, as this latter piece significantly impacts the transport sector emissions, then yes, it could be.
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Q. Do you think the data is comparable?
A. No. Because the former data represents global average while the former represents only for a province in Canada.

Q. Why do you think Ontario's emissions are different?
A. Because emissions depend upon population, activities and state of the development in the region considered.

Q. Does it reflect a good representation for developed western regions?
A. In personal opinion, the emissions from Industry sector seems reasonable given the state of development. But Emissions from Transportation and Buildings could be lower.
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The data are hardly comparable, since IPCC reports for the global level with all its diversity, while Ontario's report is limited to its own territory. The methodology is similar (if not the same, when we go to details; cannot know that unless one scrutinises both reports). It is good that Ontario's report is more detailed, though, which makes sense for such a report.

Broadly speaking Ontario's report may offer a better representation for western countries, but still the diversity within the west could be great among sectors. And of course a lot depends on the methodology and the classification (for instance, in which sansportationector should certain emissions be attributed or even in which country? Tourism industry and transportation, for instance, are some sectors without clear-cut limits). But -again- Ontario's report is a good template, due to the detailed reporting for sectors and sub-sectors.
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The two can be compared to get a general overview, but little beyond that. As opposed to global emissions, where system boundaries are well defined and the system is, for the most part, isolated, when calculating emissions of a province, a lot can be left out due to outsourcing of emissions and thus cause a downward bias, especially in consumption intense regions and especially in the "industry" section.
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Great comment, made me think about the system boundaries of calculation.
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The data is comparable as both charts are given in percentages. However, we need more contextual information about both charts, but especially Canada's, to interpret them correctly and compare and contrast them. In terms of sectoral GHG emissions, there are large differences. I think most Western countries have less GHG emissions dedicated to transport, but more dedicated to industry and energy and heat production. Most other developed countries will most likely be closer to the figures published by the IPCC.
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What I feel is like, its because in mostly developed countries like Canada agricultural foods are imported rather than production. So its considerably less when compared to our overall IPCC graph.
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The emissions related to transport and Building seem to be larger in Canada.
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I think that some of the sectors in the graphs are similar and can be compared, but some are not similar. You would need to look what is accounted for in each sector to see if they can be compared. I suspect that they might not count in the same way when it comes to agriculture and AFOLU. It seems like there is more taken into account in AFOLU than in just the agriculture calculation. Transportation could have something to do with that the average person in Ontario travels more than the average person on Earth. To get a good representation of developed western regions you should make an average out of data taken from several different regions, and on the forehand decide which categories there should be and what is included in each.
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It is not really comparable as the sectors are not specified and so it is unclear as to where different emissions are being accounted for. You can attempt to compare the two charts however, it may not be entirely accurate.

The information about the IPCC report does not state which country/ countries it represents in terms of emissions balance.

Ontario's emissions will be different to the IPCC report due to the differing nature of the area and the industries/ services/ population/ climate associated with the region.

Ontario has a relatively high secondary industry sector (manufacturing) in comparison which a typical developed country, which would be expected to be heavily service-based.
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I guess that the transport is bigger and agriculture smaller because they import a lot. Which is probably the case for many 'developed western' countries.
The figure earlier showed everything on world level, this is specific to a country. It is comparable, though they could have used other methods for measuring.
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