Big and Little Feet Provincial Profiles: Nova Scotia


  • Sarah Dobson University of Calgary
  • G. Kent Fellows University of Calgary



This communiqué provides a summary of the production- and consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions accounts for Nova Scotia, as well as their associated trade flows. It is part of a series of communiqués profiling the Canadian provinces and territories.1 In simplest terms, a production-based emissions account measures the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions produced in Nova Scotia. In contrast, a consumption-based emissions account measures the quantity of greenhouse gas emissions generated during the production process for final goods and services that are consumed in Nova Scotia through household purchases, investment by firms and government spending. Trade flows refer to the movement of emissions that are produced in Nova Scotia but which support consumption in a different province, territory or country (and vice versa). For example, emissions at the Port of Halifax that are associated with goods that are subsequently exported to Ontario for sale are recorded as a trade flow from Nova Scotia to Ontario. Moving in the opposite direction, emissions associated with the production of motor gasoline in New Brunswick that is exported to Nova Scotia for sale are recorded as a trade flow from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia. For further details on these results in a national context, the methodology for generating them and their policy implications, please see the companion papers to this communiqué series: (1) Fellows and Dobson (2017); and (2) Dobson and Fellows (2017). Additionally, the consumption emissions and trade flow data for each of the provinces and territories are available at:


Erskine, Bruce. 2014. “Slow Goodbye to Imperial Oil Refinery.” The Chronicle Herald, Sept. 4.

Dobson, Sarah and G. Kent Fellows. 2017. “Big and Little Feet: A Comparison of Provincial Level

Consumption- and Production-Based Footprints.” The School of Public Policy Publications: SPP

Research Paper, 10(23). September.

Fellows, G. Kent and Sarah Dobson. 2017. “Embodied Emissions in Inputs and Outputs: A ValueAdded

Approach to National Emissions Accounting.” Canadian Public Policy, 43(2): 140-164.

Industry Canada. 2017. “Trade Data Online.” Accessed September.


Statistics Canada. 2017a. Table 127-0006 – Electricity generated from fuels, by electric utility thermal

plants annual (megawatt hour). CANSIM (database). Accessed September. http://www5.statcan.

Statistics Canada. 2017b. Table 127-0008 – Supply and disposition of electric power, electric utilities

and industry, annual. CANSIM (database). Accessed September.


Statistics Canada, 2017c. Table 131-0001 – Historical supply and disposition of natural gas monthly

(cubic metres x 1,000,000). CANSIM (database). Accessed September.