Climate change monitoring report 2024

The fourth annual statutory monitoring report against the updated 2018 Climate Change Plan, as per the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.

1. Introduction

This annual monitoring report is the fourth progress report on the Climate Change Plan update (CCPu) which updated the 2018 Climate Change Plan (CCP) and was finalised in March 2021. The report is a statutory requirement set out in the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009.

The 2009 Act, as amended by the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019, is one of the most ambitious and comprehensive legislative frameworks on climate change in the world. The Act increased the ambition of Scotland’s emissions reduction targets (from the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009), committing to reaching net zero by 2045 in response to the global climate emergency and The Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The 2019 Act also placed the monitoring framework for climate change plans on to a statutory footing for the first time, with sector by sector reports on progress and the inclusion of matters relevant to a just transition. Two monitoring reports were published on the 2018 CCP prior to the commencement of the 2019 Act; in 2018 and 2019. No monitoring report was produced in 2020, as this fell during the process of updating the CCP. Monitoring reports were produced in 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Scotland’s climate ambition is exemplified by the ambitious policies laid out in our landmark CCPu, including over 200 policies. As highlighted in the sector reports, many of these policies and proposals have been further developed since via delivery plans. These include:


This set of monitoring reports on the CCP is complementary both to the CCPu (which in itself updates the 2018 CCP) and the most recent Official Statistics on Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions (which are for 2021), and is best read alongside these documents.

The Monitoring Framework for each of the sectors of the CCPu is structured on three levels: greenhouse gas emissions statistics provide the highest level measure of progress at an economy wide and sectoral level; a suite of policy outcome indicators measure the success of policies in achieving the changes that are needed; and a policy tracker monitoring implementation of specific policies and proposals.

Climate Change Plan

The Scottish Government remains fully committed to delivering net zero by 2045 and our next Climate Change Plan will set out our approach to delivering on Scotland’s net zero targets in a way which is fair and just for everyone.

Despite delay of our draft Climate Change Plan, we are resolutely focused on developing and delivering climate policy that supports and reflects our climate ambitions. In April 2024, the Scottish Government announced plans to accelerate action on climate with a significant package of new measures to help achieve net zero by 2045. These new policies sit alongside extensive ongoing work as outlined in the Climate Change Plan update (CCPu), and will be built upon through the next Climate Change Plan and the Green Industrial Strategy.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Statistics

Official Statistics on Scottish greenhouse gas emissions determine progress towards national emissions reduction targets and also provide information on total annual emissions at a sectoral level.

Statistics are published annually, typically in June, and two years in arrears. For example, the most recent figures, published in 2023, cover emissions during 2021.

Policy Outcome Indicators

The CCP includes key policy outcomes for each sector, defined as a measurable change on the ground resulting from a policy or combination of related policies. The Framework measures progress towards achieving these with a set of policy outcome indicators. A policy outcome indicator is a specific, objective measure closely aligned to achieving the outcome. It will underpin monitoring of long-term progress towards the outcome, but should also be responsive to change in the near term, so that it can be used to evaluate whether the CCP is on track. Specific milestones (or targets) are set, where appropriate, for the level of the indicator to be achieved at a given time.

In the CCPu, the set of outcome indicators from the 2018 CCP were reviewed to ensure that they reflect the updated policy commitments and to improve the quality and clarity of indicators. This led to new outcome indicators being identified, others being revised, and a few being removed where they were no longer appropriate or there were significant issues with robustness. In the last year of reporting, we have amended several indicators meaning there are now 43 indicators in total. An explanation of where indicators have been amended is included in each sector’s chapter. The following figure and table show the overview of progress against all policy outcome indicators across the sectors.

Bar chart overview of the indicators, 18 indicators are on track. 15 indicators are off track, and 10 indicators are too early to say.
Summary Table 1: Progress against policy outcome indicators
On Track Off Track Too Early to Say
Chapter 1: Electricity
Electricity grid intensity (CO2e per kilowatt hour) Yes - -
Installed capacity of renewable generation (GW) Yes - -
Renewable capacity at planning stages (GW: 3 categories) Yes - -
Loss of Load Expectation (hours per year) Yes - -
Chapter 2: Buildings
Number of existing domestic properties using low and zero greenhouse gas emissions heating (LZDEH) systems - - Yes
Services sector fossil fuel heat consumption - - Yes
% of non-electrical heat consumption met from renewable sources Yes
Energy intensity of residential buildings (MWh per household) - Yes -
Emissions intensity of non-domestic buildings (tonnes of CO2e per £ million Gross Value Added) Yes - -
% of homes with an EPC[1] (EER,[2] or equivalent) of at least C - Yes -
% new homes built with a calculated space heating demand of not more than 20 kWh/m²/yrT Yes - -
Percentage of households in fuel poverty - Yes -
Chapter 3: Transport
% reduction in car kilometres - Yes -
% of new car registrations that are ULEV Yes - -
% of new van registrations that are ULEV - Yes
% of new HGV registrations that are ULEV - Yes
% of new bus registrations that are ULEV Yes - -
% reduction in emissions from scheduled flights within Scotland - - Yes
% of ferries that are low emissions Yes - -
% of single track kilometres electrified - Yes -
% of train kilometres powered by alternative traction - Yes -
Chapter 4: Industry
Industrial energy productivity (£GVAm per GWh) - Yes -
Industrial emissions intensity (tCO2e per £GVAm) - Yes -
% of Scottish gas demand accounted for by biomethane and hydrogen blended into the gas network - - Yes
Chapter 5: Waste
Total amount of landfilled waste (tonnes) - Yes -
Total amount of biodegradable landfilled waste (tonnes) Yes - -
Number of closed landfill sites with exploratory landfill gas capture/ flaring - Yes -
Household and non-household food waste reduced (tonnes) - Yes -
Total waste generated (tonnes) Yes - -
Chapter 6: LULUCF
Hectares of woodland created per year - Yes -
Woodland ecological condition - - Yes
Woodland Carbon Code: Projected carbon sequestration (validated credits) Yes - -
Annual volume (in millions of cubic metres) of Scottish produced sawn wood and panel boards used in construction - - Yes
Hectares of peatland restored per year - Yes -
Peatland Carbon Code: Projected emissions reduction (validated units) - Yes -
Chapter 7: Agriculture
Increased engagement with Farm Advisory Services on environmental issues and climate change Yes - -
Use of Nitrogen fertilisers Yes - -
Spreading precision of Nitrogen fertilisers Yes - -
Nitrogen use efficiency for crop production - - Yes
Time taken from birth to slaughter and increased efficiency through improved health and reduced losses Yes - -
Improvement in covered slurry storage Yes - -
Precision application of manure and slurry - - Yes
Area of woodland on agricultural land Yes - -

Policy Tracker

The CCPu includes a set of specific policies and proposals for each sector to achieve the policy outcomes. Part C of each policy chapter monitors progress towards implementing policies and developing proposals. This consistently records progress and next steps for policies, and where possible includes implementation indicators for specific policies.



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