Nitrogen use efficiency in Scotland: annual report 2023

First annual report under section 5(1)(c) of the Climate Change (Nitrogen Balance Sheet) (Scotland) Regulations 2022, and complements the latest published version of the Nitrogen Balance Sheet for the year 2020.


As outlined in the December 2021 report on Establishing a Scottish Nitrogen Balance Sheet, the largest overall "engine" of nitrogen use in Scotland is associated with food production, and the nitrogen cycle for food production is also closely linked with the waste management, through the consumption of food for human nutrition and subsequent excretion.

There are also several sets of nitrogen flows that are largely independent of the food production system, including those associated with the combustion of fossil fuels (via transport, industry and wider energy use), although these are generally much smaller in magnitude and much simpler in structure (i.e. direct emissions to the air).

The Nitrogen Balance Sheet includes further information for these and other sectors and incorporates methodological improvements to the balance sheet along with a summary of these improvements.



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