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Purpose Target: Sustainability (2007-2016)

 To reduce emissions over the period to 2011

 To reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050

Current Status
In 2013, Scottish greenhouse gas emissions (including international aviation and shipping) and adjusted to take account of trading in the EU Emissions Trading System, were 49.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

For the long term target (between the baseline and the latest year), this figure is 38.4% lower than the baseline.

For the short term target, there was a 14.3% reduction between 2006 and 2011.

Last Update: 9 June 2015

Sustainability

Why is this Purpose Target important?
What will influence this Purpose Target?
What is the Government's role?
How is Scotland performing?
Criteria for recent change
Further information

Why is this Purpose Target important?

The quality of Scotland's environment and natural heritage is a key asset and source of competitive advantage. Consequently, protecting and enhancing Scotland's biodiversity and landscape for future generations is central to both our current and future competitiveness. A critical element of this is climate change, not just because it poses a particular threat to Scotland, but also because there is a global imperative to address the issue. By reducing our emissions Scotland will make a valuable contribution to addressing climate change.

What will influence this Purpose Target?

Sustainability is not simply a matter of improving the natural environment and the sustainable economic use of our natural assets. It involves a sustainable approach to all economic development, including better ways of promoting - and taking advantage of - our potential in areas such as renewable energy. We also need to encourage and adopt less resource-intensive, lower carbon approaches when developing and implementing policy.

What is the Government's role?

The Government can encourage sustainability in Scotland in a number of ways, including:

  • Supportive business environment: creating the best possible environment for competitive businesses, entrepreneurship and innovation to maximise the opportunities offered by Scotland moving towards a low-carbon economy. The Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 provides a statutory, long term framework to support progress towards a low-carbon economy
  • Infrastructure development and place: providing sustainable, integrated and cost-effective public transport alternatives to the car as well as a planning and development regime which is joined up and geared towards achieving sustainable places and sustainable economic growth.
  • Equity: protecting and enhancing Scotland's natural assets to support our long-term competitiveness

How is Scotland performing?

In 2013, total Scottish greenhouse gas emissions (including international aviation and shipping) and adjusted to take account of trading in the EU Emissions Trading System, were 49.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This figure is 38.4% lower than the Baseline Period. The baseline uses 1990 for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide and 1995 for F gases  (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons,  sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride).

Between 2012 and 2013 such emissions decreased by 14.0% (8.1 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent).

Note: the short and long term target may not always point in the same performance direction. This is based on the fact that 2 different data points are used to assess the arrow directions for the two targets. The short term target makes reference to 2011 and is based on the year on year change between 2006 and 2011 whereas the long term target uses the latest 2 data points. As the data is susceptible to revisions annually, the arrow direction for the short term target may change in future updates.

Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Source: Aether Ricardo - AEA
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page.

Criteria for recent change

This evaluation is based on the percentage change in the tonnage of emissions. If the change is within +/- 1% of last year's figure this suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A decrease in the tonnage of 1% or more suggests that the position is improving; whereas an increase in the tonnage of 1% or more suggests the position is worsening.

This should not use the previously published years figure as the time series is revised annually to take into account revisions to the inventory. Comparisons should use the stated figures for the previous year.

Further information

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Scotland Performs Technical Note

Statistics Topic Page

View Purpose Target Data

Downloadable document:

Title:Sustainability (2007-2016)
Description:Sustainability (2007-2016)
File:Sustainability (2007-2016) [XLSX, 19.0 kb: 10 Mar 2016]
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