Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics 2021

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. 

In 2021, Scottish source emissions of the basket of seven greenhouse gases were estimated to be 41.6 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). This is 2.4 per cent higher than the 2020 figure of 40.6 MtCO2e; a 1.0 MtCO2e increase. 

The main contributors to this increase between 2020 and 2021 were increased emissions in Domestic Transport (+1.1 MtCO2e) following the impact of the COVID lockdown in 2020, and residential (+0.4 MtCO2e) sectors.   Emissions reductions were seen in Energy (-0.5 MtCO2e), Business (-0.2 MtCO2e) and International Aviation and Shipping (-0.1 MtCO2e) sectors.  All remaining sectors showed relatively modest increases in the latest year.


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 adjusted basis, the GHG account reduced by 49.9 per cent between the baseline period and 2021. 

The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 specifies a target reduction of 51.1 per cent reduction over the same period.

Therefore the interim target for 2021 has not been met.


The full statistical publication is available on the Scottish Government website.  

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 can be found at

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


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