Greenhouse gas emissions 2018: estimates

Estimates of greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland for the years 1990 to 2018.

This document is part of 2 collections

There are two measures of greenhouse gases presented in this release

Source Emissions

A measure of the actual emissions or removals in Scotland.  Includes international aviation and shipping. Used for UK and international comparisons.

41.6 MtCO2e in 2018

  • Down 45.4% from 1990
  • Up 1.5% from 2017

Emissions for reporting against targets

The Committee for Climate Change (CCC) recommended a new method of reporting emissions for the purposes of reporting against targets in this, and future, publications. This is known as the GHG Account and the calculation in detailed in section C.

  • Down 50.0% from Baseline Period

On this adjusted basis, the GHG account reduced by 50.0 per cent between the baseline period and 2018.

The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 specifies a 54.0 per cent reduction over the same period.

Therefore the target for 2018 has not been met.

Laid before the Scottish Parliament by the Scottish Ministers under section 33 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009 Jun 2020 [SG/2020/90]

Figures have been revised since last year’s release to incorporate methodological improvements and new data

MtCO2e refers to million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. This is a consistent measure of assessing the contribution of greenhouse gases to global warming.

The Baseline Period uses 1990 for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide and 1995 for hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride.

Key trend – Source emissions

Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 1990 to 2018. Values in MtCO2e
Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 1990 to 2018. Values in MtCO2e

In 2018, Scottish source emissions of the basket of seven greenhouse gases were estimated to be 41.6 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). This is 1.5 per cent higher than the 2017 figure of 41.0 MtCO2e; a 0.6 MtCO2e increase.

The main contributor to this increase between 2017 and 2018 was a rise in Energy Supply emissions (0.8 MtCO2e; an 13.4 per cent). This increase was driven almost entirely by increased emissions from power stations.

Between 1990 and 2018, there was a 45.4 per cent reduction in estimated emissions, a 34.6 MtCO2e decrease. The most significant contributors to this overall reduction were:

  • Fall in Energy Supply emissions (such as power stations) (-15.9 MtCO2e; 70.1 per cent reduction)
  • 'Land use, Land use change and forestry' (LULUCF) becoming a greater sink, offsetting an additional 5.1 MtCO2e of emissions.
  • Fall in Waste Management emissions (such as Landfill) (-4.4 MtCO2e; a 72.2 per cent reduction)
  • Fall in Business emissions (-4.0 MtCO2e; a 32.2 per cent reduction)

The largest factor slowing the overall reduction is 'Transport (excluding international)'. This sector was the largest contributor in 2018 at 12.9 MtCO2e, however has shown only a 4.9 percent decrease since 1990, compared to the overall trend of a 45.4 per cent decrease.

More details can be found in Section B.

Revisions to greenhouse gas emissions statistics

Note that as part of this release all of the figures have been revised since the previous publication, to incorporate methodological improvements and new data. Comparing these 2018 figures with the 2017 figures published a year ago will therefore give a different year-on-year percentage change; one which is incorrect and should not be used. The correct percentage changes are given in this publication and associated tables. Details of these revisions can be found later in this statistical release in Section D.



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