Canada’s Air Quality Dramatically Improved Despite Increased Energy Use


Title: Canada’s Air Quality Dramatically Improved Despite Increased Energy Use

Author: Ross McKitrick and Elmira Aliakbari

Publisher: Fraser Institute

Date: May 17, 2017

Summary: Despite a growing economy and increased consumption of fossil fuels, Canadian air quality has improved drastically since the 1970s.

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In recent decades, Canada has experienced something many environmentalists thought couldn’t happen—strong economic growth and large reductions in pollution. This is a good news story that deserves telling, and a recent Fraser Institute study does just that.

In our study we examined the evolution of air quality in Canada from the 1970s onwards, using Environment Canada’s data on ambient concentrations (basically the actual amount in the air) of various conventional air pollutants—primarily, sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and ground-level ozone. The data enabled us to examine individual monitoring stations across Canada over time and to calculate the percentage of stations with readings exceeding the most stringent air quality standards.

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