Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2017

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.


A measure of the actual emissions or removals in Scotland. Includes international aviation and shipping. Used for UK and international comparisons.


Emissions adjusted to account for Scotland’s participation in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU-ETS). These adjusted emissions are used to measure progress against the targets set in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

The Act provides for a fixed annual target for 2017 of 43.946 MtCO2e, which has been missed.

The Act also contains a 2050 target for at least an 80 per cent reduction from baseline levels and an interim 2020 target for at least a 42 per cent reduction. Although this 2020 target was exceeded in the years 2014 and 2015, the increase in adjusted emissions in the most recent year means that it was missed in 2016 and 2017.

ETS Adjusted emissions, the indicator on which the Scottish Government’s statutory targets are based, increased in 2017 even though actual source emissions fell. Adjusted emissions count Scottish ETS allowances as contributing toward Scottish emissions irrespective of whether they are used by Scottish participants in the ETS to offset their emissions, or sold and used by emitters in other participating countries. The total number of allowances issued through the ETS system has increased steadily since 2014 as part of the EU’s management of the ETS. As a result, Scotland’s share of ETS permits, based on historic emissions, has automatically increased. As a result there has developed a significant disconnect between the figure for ETS adjusted emissions and the actual quantity of Scottish source emissions. 


The full statistical publication is available at

The data on Greenhouse Gas Emissions used in this release have been compiled for all Nations of the UK by a consortium of independent contractors. Further information on the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory can be found at

Further information on Scottish environment statistics can be accessed at

Further information on Scottish economic statistics can be accessed at

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


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