Low Carbon Scotland: behaviours framework

This framework outlines what we will do to drive and support the move to low carbon living in the lead-up to the first key climate change target in 2020.

How will we track progress on Low Carbon Behaviours?

Scotland Performs [10] measures and reports on the progress of government in Scotland in creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all to flourish through increasing sustainable economic growth. This is done through a series of core purpose targets, of which the key sustainability one is:

  • To reduce emissions by 80% by 2050

Influencing low carbon behaviours will be central to achieving this target. Scotland Performs reports on a range of headline social, economic, environmental and wellbeing indicators, including reducing Scotland’s carbon footprint.

What Are The Low Carbon Behaviour Indicators?

We have identified a small set of behaviour-related indicators that complement the Scotland Performs set on our carbon footprint and reducing emissions, with the intention of obtaining a general indication of the direction of change.

Tracking progress on behaviour is not simple or straightforward, and it is often necessary to rely on proxy indicators. These indicators cover the key low carbon behaviour themes (food, transport, energy and consumption of goods and services), and attitudes towards climate change. They have been selected as they represent everyday actions, with good data vailability, and will give an indication of the attitudes and behaviours of the Scottish public.

The Scottish Government is considering a wider range of indicators across the 10 key behaviour areas and will publish further information in summer 2013.

Indicators Latest figure (year) Performance 1 Source
Climate Change - emissions, footprint and attitudes
Reduce emissions (Scotland Performs) 54.7 million tonnes of CO 2 equivalent (2010) down arrow Performance Worsening Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Reduce carbon footprint (Scotland Performs) 82.1 million tonnes of CO 2 equivalent (2009) up arrow Perfomance improving Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions on a Consumption Basis
Percentage of people agreeing that climate change is an immediate and urgent problem 57% (2008) Figure not yet available 2 Scottish Enviromental Attitudes and Behaviours Survey ( SEABS) 3
Key behaviour areas
Home energy - percentage of households who monitor energy use (very or fairly closely) 47% (2011) Up 2% points since 2010 Scottish House Condition Survey ( SHCS) 4
Transport - percentage of journeys made to work by public or active transport (Scotland Performs) 30.8% (2011) left, right arrow Performance Maintaining Scottish Household Survey ( SHS)
Food - percentage of people who consume 5 portions or more of fruit and vegetables per day 22% (2010) Down 1% point since 2009 Scottish Health Survey ( SHeS) 5
Consumtion - waste generated - local authority municipal solid waste (Scotland Performs) 3.06 million tonnes up arrowPerformance improving Scottish Environment Protection Agency ( SEPA)


1 Arrows for Scotland Performs measures drawn from the Scotland Performs website and based on change from latest figure compared to previous figure available: This website also provides background information and data for the Scotland Performs based indicators.
2 Progress can be tracked annually from 2013 via the Scottish Household Survey ( SHS). The first annual data will be available from summer 2014.
3 See
4 See This data will be collected from the SHS from 2012 onwards.
5 See


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