We observe a 1.3 kg C/net GJ variation of carbon emissions due to inertinite abundance in some commercially available bituminous coal. An additional 0.9 kg C/net GJ variation of carbon emissions is expected due to the extent of coalification through the bituminous rank stages. Each percentage of sulfur in bituminous coal reduces carbon emissions by about 0.08 kg C/net GJ. Other factors, such as mineral content, liptinite abundance and individual macerals, also influence carbon emissions, but their quantitative effect is less certain. The large range of carbon emissions within the bituminous rank class suggests that rank- specific carbon emission factors are provincial rather than global. Although carbon emission factors that better account for this provincial variation might be calculated, we show that the data used for this calculation may vary according to the methods used to sample and analyze coal. Provincial variation of carbon emissions and the use of different coal sampling and analytical methods complicate the verification of national greenhouse gas inventories. Published by Elsevier Science B.V.