Key Scottish Environment Statistics 2013

This publication aims to provide an easily accessible reference document which offers information on a wide range of environmental topics. It covers key datasets on the state of the environment in Scotland, with an emphasis on the trends over time wherever possible. The data are supplemented by text providing brief background information on environmental impacts, relevant legislation and performance against national and international targets.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions by SourceR,9,10,12: 1990-2011

Greenhouse gas emissions taking account of emissions and removals (MtCO2e)11

Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Source: 1990-2011

It should be noted that improved data sources and estimation techniques have routinely led to revision of historic greenhouse gas emission estimates. All data has been revised to reflect these changes.

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere help to retain radiative energy, resulting in warming of the lower atmosphere and earth surface. Atmospheric concentrations of GHGs have increased as a result of human activities since the Industrial Revolution (c.1750). This has enhanced the greenhouse effect and is influencing global climate change.13

Scotland's emissions of greenhouse gases in 2011 were estimated to be 51.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), 9.9% (5.6 MtCO2e) lower than 2010 and 29.6% below 1990 levels.14,15,16 Between 2010 and 2011, there were large decreases in greenhouse gas emissions in the energy supply and residential sectors primarily due to reduced consumption of coal in power stations in the energy supply sector and the decrease in the residential sector was as a result of a large reduction in natural gas consumption. Emissions from the residential sector are affected by changes in weather, with 2011 being on average 1.5°C warmer than 2010.

In 2011, Energy Supply was the largest emitter of GHGs, contributing 33% of the net emissions in Scotland. Emissions from the Energy Supply sector in 2011 were 24% lower than in 1990 and 18% lower than in 2010. Transport emissions contributed 20% to the 2011 total, and have remained approximately the same since 1990. Emissions from the Residential sector decreased by 21% between 2010 and 2011, and accounted for 13% of Scottish net emissions in 2011. They also decreased by 19% since 1990. Forestry has represented a net removal of GHGs since 1990 and this net removal increased by 11% between 1990 and 2011, but reduced in size by 5% from 2010 to 2011.

The Agriculture and Related Land Use and Business and Industrial process sectors contributed 20% and 18%, respectively towards net Scottish emissions in 2011, and reduced their emissions by 29% and 32% respectively since 1990. Between 2010 and 2011 Agricultural and Related Land Use emissions decreased by 3% while Business and Industrial Process increased by 1%.

Source: National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory17 / Scottish Government18 / Metadata


Email: Callum Neil

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