"Please supply the gross figures for emissions and for removals used in your net zero targets for the years 2021 through to 2045."
As the information you have requested is 'environmental information' for the purposes of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs), we are required to respond to your request under those Regulations. We are applying the exemption at section 39(2) of the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 (FOISA), this means we have not approach this response 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.
The data you have requested for 2021 can be found in table 1 below. This table can also be found in the June publication of the Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics 2021 Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics 2021 - Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics 2021 - gov.scot (www.gov.scot).
|Table 1: Gross and net emissions, Scotland, 2021 (MtCO2e)|
|Row Labels||Sum of Emissions (MtCO2e)|
While our aim is to provide information whenever possible, in this instance the Scottish Government does not have the data from 2022 to 2045 you have requested. Therefore we are not in a position to service this aspect of your request under the exception at regulation 10(4)(a) of the EIRs. The reason why the exception applies is explained in the next section.
Reason for not providing 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 the Climate Change Committee who provide advice on projected emissions, advice on which our statutory emissions reduction targets are based, does so in the format of net, rather than gross emissions. As such we do not hold the information with regards to gross emissions and removals you have requested for these future years ahead of when statistics are officially published.
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 "Net zero carbon emissions targets 2021 to 2045", clearly we cannot provide information which we do not hold.
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.
Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000
The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
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