Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics 2020

Official statistics showing emissions of greenhouse gases in Scotland over the period 1990 to 2020.

This document is part of a collection

Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics 2020

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.

This measure can be used for UK and international comparisons.

40.0 MtCO2e in 2020

Down 51.0% from 1990

Down 12.0% from 2019

Emissions For Reporting Against Targets

The Committee for Climate Change (CCC) recommended a new method of reporting emissions for the purposes of monitoring performance against targets for the June 2020, and future, publications.

This is known as the GHG Account and the calculation is detailed in section C.

Down 58.7% from baseline period

On this adjusted basis, the GHG account reduced by 58.7 per cent between the baseline period and 2020.

The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 specifies a target reduction of 56.0 per cent reduction over the same period.

Therefore the interim target for 2020 has been met.

Laid before the Scottish Parliament by the Scottish Ministers under section 33 of the Climate Change (Scotland) Act 2009, June 2022. [SG/2022/94]

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 2020. Values in MtCO 2e

Chart of long-term emissions over 1990 to 2020 - indicating  a strong downward trend.

In 2020, Scottish source emissions of the basket of seven greenhouse gases were estimated to be 40.0 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). This is 12.0 per cent lower than the 2019 figure of 45.4 MtCO2e; a 5.4 MtCO2e decrease.

The main contributors to this decrease between 2019 and 2020 were reductions in emissions in the Domestic Transport (-2.5 MtCO2e), International Aviation and Shipping (-1.1 MtCO2e), and Energy Supply (-0.8 MtCO2e) sectors. All other sectors demonstrated modest reductions over this period, with the exception of the Residential sector which increased by 0.1 MtCO2e. The Business and Public sectors showed essentially no change in emissions in the latest year.

Between 1990 and 2020, there was a 51.0 per cent reduction in estimated emissions, a 41.6 MtCO2e decrease. The most significant contributors to this overall reduction were:

  • Reduction in Energy Supply emissions (such as power stations) (-16.1 MtCO2e; 75.2 per cent reduction)
  • 'Land Use, Land Use Change And Forestry' (LULUCF) reducing its net emissions over the long run, reducing by 5.6 MtCO2e since 1990.
  • Reduction in Business emissions (-5.0 MtCO2e; a 39.1 per cent reduction)
  • Reduction in Waste Management emissions (such as Landfill) (-4.5 MtCO2e; a 76.9 per cent reduction)
  • Reduction in Domestic transport emissions (-4.1 MtCO2e; a 29.9 per cent reduction).

All other sectors have demonstrated a reduction in emissions since 1990.

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 2020 figures with the 2019 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.



Back to top