Publication - FOI/EIR release

Carbon management and reduction targets: EIR release

Published: 26 Nov 2019

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

Published:
26 Nov 2019
Carbon management and reduction targets: EIR release
FOI reference: FOI/19/02409
Date received: 25 Oct 2019
Date responded: 22 Nov 2019
Information requested

Please can you provide the following data for each of the past 3 years.

  1. What targets have Transport Scotland set for itself in terms of carbon reduction in its use of transport, broken down by mode of transport.
  2. Have these targets been met, broken down by mode of transport.
  3. What are your future targets.
  4. What plans have Transport Scotland put in place for its own carbon management.
  5. Can you provide any documentation discussing whether these carbon management plans have been achieved.
Response

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.

I have numbered our response for ease of reference.
I have provided website links to some information. Under regulation 6(1)(b) of the EIRs, we do not have to give you information which is already publicly available and easily accessible to you in another form or format.  If, however, you do not have internet access to obtain this information from the website(s) listed, then please contact me again and I will send you a paper copy.

  1. What targets have Transport Scotland set for itself in terms of carbon reduction in its use of transport, broken down by mode of transport?
    Transport Scotland currently has two targets in relation to its carbon footprint. The first target relates to network energy, this is electricity use associated with Roadside Electrical Assets (REAs), CCTV and the lighting of the Trunk road network. The second target relates to operational emissions, which includes emissions from our travel, building utilities and waste. Transport Scotland does not set individual targets for each element of our operational emissions. However we have set a target to reduce our operational carbon emissions by 20% and our network energy emissions by 25% both by the end of the financial year 2019/20.
  2. Have these targets been met, broken down by mode of transport.
    While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.As previously highlighted in our answer to point 1, we do not have a reduction target relating to individual modes of transport. However, since the baseline year in 2015/16, we have reduced operational emissions by 22% from 1375.447 tCO2e in 2015/16 to 1,070.9 tCO2e in 2018/19 and Carbon emissions associated with the agencies network energy assets have reduced by 60%, dropping to 8,319 tCO2e compared to the 2015/16 baseline (20847 tCO2e).
  3. What are your future targets?
    While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested. Therefore we are refusing your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reasons why that exception applies are explained in the Annex to this letter.However, it my be helpful to note that Transport Scotland are due to start the development of a new Carbon Management Plan, which will set out our pathway to net-zero emissions. This new Carbon Management Plan will not be published until late 2020, as the current plan covers up until the end of the financial year 2019/20.
  4. What plans have Transport Scotland put in place for its own carbon management?
    We published our Carbon Management Plan during the financial year 2015/16. This plan covers actions up until 2019/20.
    This plan can be accessed at https://www.transport.gov.scot/media/10319/ts-carbon-management-plan-v3-final-november-2016.pdf.
  5. Can you provide any documentation discussing whether these carbon management plans have been achieved
    Please find below a link to Transport Scotland’s Public Bodies Climate Change Duties Reports for the financial years 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18. The 2018/19 report will be published after the 30 November 2019 at the same address.
    https://sustainablescotlandnetwork.org/reports/transport-scotland
    I have also included Transport Scotland’s Senior Management Team papers discussing the results of our reports for the last few years (Attachment A, B and C).

    ANNEX
    REASONS FOR NOT PROVIDING INFORMATION
    The Scottish Government does not have the information
    Under the terms of the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs (information not held), the Scottish Government is not required to provide information which it does not have.  The Scottish Government does not have the information you have requested because we do not have a reduction target relating to individual modes of transport, rather it is a combined reduction target.
    This exception 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 exception.  We have found that, on balance, the public interest lies in favour of upholding the exception.  While we recognise that there may be some public interest in information about Transport Scotland’s carbon reduction targets and management plans, clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.

    An exception applies- Reg 11(2)
    An exception under regulation 11(2) of the EIRs (personal information) applies to some of the information requested because it is personal data of a third party and disclosing it would contravene the data protection principles in Schedule 1 to the Data Protection Act 1998.
    Personal data such as names, email addresses, mailing addresses and telephone numbers of third parties have not been disclosed. 
    This exception is not subject to the ‘public interest test’, so we are not required to consider if the public interest in disclosing the information outweighs the public interest in applying the exception.
  6. About FOI
  7. The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.

Contact

Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road
Edinburgh
EH1 3DG