CO2 emissions emitted in Scotland vs the rest of the world: EIR release

Information request and response under the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004.

Information requested

You asked what share (in percent) of CO2 emissions are emitted in Scotland vs the rest of the world.

As the information you have requested is ‘environmental information’ for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to deal with your request under those Regulations.

We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), so that we do not also have to deal with your request under FOISA.

This exemption is subject to the ‘public interest test’. Therefore, taking account of all the circumstances of this case, we have considered if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exemption. We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exemption, because there is no public interest in dealing with the same request under two different regimes. This is essentially a technical point and has no material effect on the outcome of your request.


Some of the information required to answer your question is available from the latest annual Scottish greenhouse gas emissions inventory available at: gas-statistics-2020/. This estimates net Scottish carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 as 26.3MtCO2e which includes a share of emissions from international aviation and shipping, as well as emissions and removals from the land use sectors.

While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, the Scottish Government does not hold data on global carbon dioxide emissions. Various non-Scottish Government websites publish different estimates of global carbon dioxide emissions and care should be taken when making comparisons. By way of an example, Trends in Global CO2 and Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions; 2021 Summary Report | PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency estimates global carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 to be 36GtCO2e and, on this measure Scotland’s carbon dioxide emissions represent around 0.1% of global emissions.


About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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