Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics 2020

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

There are two measures of greenhouse gases presented in this release:


A measure of the actual emissions or removals of greenhouse gases in Scotland, including international aviation and shipping.  Source emissions were 40.0 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2020; falling by 51.0 per cent between 1990 and 2020 and falling by 12.0 per cent between 2019 and 2020.  In the latest year, emissions from transport fell sharply due to the impact of the COVID-19 restrictions in place during 2020.


The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 implements the  Climate Change Committee (CCC)’s recommended method of reporting emissions for the purposes of assessing progress against targets. This method, which acts to remove the impact of technical data revisions to the historical time-series, is known as the GHG Account and the calculation is detailed in section C of the statistics release.

On this basis, the GHG account reduced by 58.7 per cent between the baseline period and 2020. 

The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 specifies a target of a 56.0 per cent reduction over the same period. 

Therefore the interim target for 2020 was met.


The full statistical publication. 

Figures have been revised since last year’s release to incorporate methodological improvements and new data.

MtCO2e refers to million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.  This is a consistent measure of assessing the contribution of greenhouse gases to global warming.

The Baseline Period for measuring progress against targets uses 1990 for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide and 1995 for hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride

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.

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


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