Region 3 | Media Release

New Report—Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Ontario

SASKATOON, SK—The National Farmers Union (NFU) today released Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Ontario: A Comprehensive Assessment. This report brings the rigorous methodology of previous national reports to bear on provincial data provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC). The most detailed report of its kind, it subdivides Ontario agricultural greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and soil-carbon changes into 42 categories to better understand the specific sources of emissions.

Please see the graph below for an indication of the detail contained in this NFU report.

The report is available at the following link:

Key findings include:

  1. Total GHG emissions from Ontario agriculture and the production of agricultural inputs are rising: emissions have increased from 12.3 million tonnes (Mt) carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year in 1990 to 13.8 Mt CO2e per year in 2021.
  2. Rapidly rising emissions from fossil-fuel use are driving up total emissions. Emissions from farm fuel use in Ontario increased by 75% since 1990.
  3. Emissions from cattle, other livestock, and nitrogen fertilizer are all significant components of total agricultural emissions.
  4. Agricultural soils in Ontario have been losing carbon since 1990, and the rate of loss is increasing in recent years.

Stuart Oke is an Ontario farmer and past chair of the NFU’s Climate Committee. He emphasized the pressing need for this report: “As a farmer at the beginning of my career I am gravely concerned about how the increasingly severe and frequent weather events caused by the climate crisis will affect my farm long term. It is critical that as a sector we search for common sense solutions that can reduce emissions without adversely affecting the long term financial sustainability of our farms. To do nothing is not an option, but government needs to do their part to support this change if they want to have an agricultural system in another 20 years.”

As the report states: “To properly plan and implement the many on-farm changes needed to achieve emissions reductions and to design and fund the government programs needed to accelerate and support those on-farm changes, farmers and policymakers need to understand emissions: we need detailed, comprehensive numbers.  …  [However,] clear, accessible, complete analyses and graphs are often lacking. This report is a contribution to filling that gap.”

The NFU has previously published a report on agricultural emissions in Saskatchewan and has one upcoming on the Atlantic provinces. For a look at the national picture, please see our most recent report on Canadian agricultural emissions, available here.


For more information:
Stuart Oke, Past Chair of NFU Climate Committee, (613) 802-3477,
John Mills, Policy Assistant, (778) 721-8383,