Canadians among biggest energy users even as world moves toward net zero emissions

Canada's big energy use

An annual look at global energy systems suggests Canadians are — and will remain — among the biggest consumers of energy over the next decade even as policies ramp up to make the country more energy-efficient.

The International Energy Agency's World Energy Outlook published Wednesday shows Canadians used more than 300 gigajoules of energy per person last year, almost twice the world average and among the highest in the world.

It takes about 25 gigajoules to power the average Canadian house over 12 months, but the total energy use per person includes all energy used, including in transportation, industry, and heating and cooling.

The agency report forecasts that as a result of policies to make homes more efficient, remove fossil fuels from the power grid and put more electric cars on the road, Canada's power demand will fall below 300 gigajoules per person.

But it will still be among the highest energy use in the world, about 1.5 times the world average.

The report says the whole world needs to be far more ambitious about curbing energy use and replacing fossil fuels if it has any hope of meeting the Paris climate agreement goal to prevent catastrophic and irreversible climate change.

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