Briefing documents on electricity consumption: EIR release

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

Information requested

You asked for:

“In 2020, an estimated 97.4% of our gross electricity consumption came from renewables.

The important thing about the above sentence is not the exact wording, but the omission of the word “equivalent”, which would make it accurate.

For the period 2nd November 2022 - date, please answer the following questions:

(1.) How many briefing documents have been prepared including the above statistic, and omitting the word “equivalent.

(2.) For each document enumerated in answering question (1.) please provide the date of the document, and the person and occasion it was prepared for. Where the briefing document was associated with a meeting or other event involving parties outside the Scottish Government, please also indicate whether the statistic (omitting the word “equivalent”) was stated by the Scottish Government minister or official during the meeting/event.”


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.

Questions 1 & 2

Scottish Government officials prepared two briefing documents between the dates specified in your request which included the specific wording “In 2020, an estimated 97.4% of our gross electricity consumption came from renewables” and did not include the use of the word “equivalent”.

The briefing documents noted above were produced for the First Minister, Humza Yousaf, for the New York Climate Week (NYCW) event and associated meetings which were held between 17 and 21 September 2023 with the briefing documents being finalised on 15 September.

A search of Scottish Government records indicates that the wording and statistic referred to in your request was not stated by either the First Minister or officials when attending NYCW events or meetings.

The First Minister spoke at the Financing the Green Economy event which was a part of the larger NYCW event. A transcript of the speech given by the First Minister that you may find helpful can be found here.

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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