In large part due to its size, climate and resource-based economy, Canada is among the countries with the highest GHG emissions per capita (21 t CO2 eq.). Compared with other provinces, Québec’s per capita emission rate (10 t CO2 eq.) is among the lowest in the country. In Canada, the electricity sector represents 11% of total emissions whereas in Québec, thanks to the abundance of water resources, it represents only 0.3%.
Thanks to its use of over 99% renewable energy sources, Hydro-Québec has an excellent net GHG emission record. The emissions avoided (7,953,810 t CO2 eq.) through its net electricity exports largely outweigh the emissions generated by its operations (346,779 t CO2 eq.). However, this positive differential will tend to wane as the U.S. Northeast increases its sources of supply with lower GHG emissions.
All forms of power generation emit GHGs, either directly or indirectly. To more accurately compare hydropower against other generating options, Hydro-Québec monitors life cycle assessments conducted in Canada and abroad. These assessments show the impacts of the various energy options at every step in their life cycles: facility construction, resource extraction, processing and transportation of raw materials, operation, etc.