Scotland’s Carbon Footprint: 1998-2014

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland's Chief Statistician today published Scotland’s Carbon Footprint: 1998-2014. This publication provides estimates of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions  on a consumption basis; that is emissions that are associated with the spending of Scottish residents on goods and services, wherever in the world these emissions arise together with emissions directly generated by Scottish households.

Key points

  • Between 2013 and 2014, the carbon footprint fell by 0.6%. The decrease mainly reflects reductions in GHG emissions from Scottish consumption of UK production and household heating.
  • Scotland’s carbon footprint (emissions from all greenhouse gases) fell by 8.5%, from 84.0 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 1998 to 76.8 MtCO2e in 2014.
  • Scotland’s carbon footprint rose fairly steadily from 1999 to a peak of 100.2 MtCO2e in 2007 before falling sharply in the following years (coinciding with the recession) when it fell to 81.3 MtCO2e in 2009. In 2014 the carbon footprint was 23.4% lower than the 2007 peak.


1. The full statistical publication can be accessed. 

2. A carbon dioxide equivalent is a metric measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases on the basis of their global warming potential by converting amounts of other gases to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same global warming potential. Global warming potential describes the relative potency, molecule for molecule, of a greenhouse gas, taking account of how long it remains active in the atmosphere.

3. This statistical report meets the requirements under Section 37 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009. The data contained within this report are also used to inform National Indicator 47: “Carbon Footprint”.

4. Published territorial emissions are available in the Official Statistics publication “Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 2015.” 

5. Further information on Scottish economic statistics can be accessed.

6. More information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed.

7. Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed


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