Scottish Greenhouse Gas statistics: 1990-2019

The Scottish Greenhouse Gas Inventory is the key tool for understanding the origins and magnitudes of greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland. The inventory is compiled in line with international guidance from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

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Section C. Scotland's GHG Account for assessing progress against statutory targets


A full reporting of the figures, required by the statutory requirements of Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, is available in Annex A which accompanies this publication.

In December 2017 the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) provided advice on the future measurement and accounting of emissions against Scotland's climate change targets[6].

The CCC used the term "GHG Account" to refer to their recommended manner of accounting for emissions, which is intended to better separate the impacts on targets of scientific and methodological improvements to the GHG inventory, from those of 'on-the-ground' policy actions. The Climate Change (Emissions Reductions Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 requires that Scottish Ministers follow the CCC's most recent advice on the method to be used for reporting on target outcomes, which currently means the GHG Account method set out here.

At the heart of this method is the freezing of inventory methods (the scientific methods used for the measurement and estimation of emissions levels) between the time that target levels are set (or reviewed through independent advice from the CCC) and the time when target outcomes come to be reported. To ensure that the inventory methods used for the purpose of reporting target outcomes do not become too far separated from the best science and evidence, the base inventory will be re-aligned to the most up to date inventory methods at least every 5 years.

Calculating the GHG Account

The calculation of the GHG account for the latest year can be summarised as follows:

Diagram representing the method used to convert source emissions to that used to measure performance against emissions reduction targets.

2019 GHG Account Calculation

In accordance with advice from the Committee on Climate Change, the calendar year 2016 (for which emissions data was first published in June 2018) has been selected as the base inventory for reporting progress to the 2019 annual target.

Table C1: Calculation of the Scottish GHG Account for 2019

Year Baseline Period 1 2016 2017 2018 2019
Inventory data
A. Base Inventory source emissions data (June 2018 data (1990-2016)) 75.7 38.6 N/A N/A N/A
B. June 2019 source emissions data (1990-2017 inventory) 76.3 41.9 40.5 N/A N/A
C. June 2020 source emissions data (1990-2018 inventory) 76.3 42.0 41.0 41.6 N/A
D. June 2021 source emissions data (1990-2019 inventory) 85.1 48.5 47.5 48.9 47.8
Revisions between inventories2
between A and B 0.6 3.3 3.3 3.3 3.3
between B and C -0.0 0.1 0.5 0.5 0.5
between C and D 8.8 6.5 6.5 7.3 7.3
Combined revision between successive inventories 9.4 9.9 10.3 11.1 11.1
GHG Account (latest inventory, less combined revision) 75.7 38.6 37.2 37.8 36.7
GHG Account figures, expressed as a percentage reduction from the baseline period. 0.0% -49.0% -50.9% -50.0% -51.5%

1. The Baseline period uses a 1995 base-year for F-Gas emissions, and 1990 for all other greenhouse gases.

2. Where data do not exist for a particular year, revisions are carried over from the previous complete year (see shaded cells)

Under the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019, annual targets are set for the years from 2018 onwards. A full list of these target levels is available on the Scottish Government website (, with the 2019 annual target being a 55.0 per cent reduction from baseline levels.

Table C1 shows a 51.5 per cent reduction from baseline levels in 2019. As a result, the statutory emissions reduction target for 2019 has not been achieved.



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