Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics 2021

Official statistics showing emissions of greenhouse gases in Scotland over the period 1990 to 2021.

This document is part of a collection

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 Climate Change Committee (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 Reduction 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.

The base inventory has been updated in this release and now uses the 1990-2020 data, published in June 2022.

2021 GHG Account Calculation

In accordance with advice from the Climate Change Committee, the calendar year 2020 (for which emissions data was first published in June 2022) has been selected as the base inventory for reporting progress to the 2021 interim target.

Table 8: Calculation of the Scottish GHG Account for 2021
Year Baseline Period (1) 2020 2021
Inventory data
A. Base Inventory source emissions data (June 2022 data (1990-2020)) (3) 83.0 40.6 N/A
B. June 2023 source emissions data (1990-2021 inventory) 82.0 40.6 41.6
Revisions between inventories (2)
between A and B -1.0 0.1 0.1
GHG Account (latest inventory, less combined revision) (4, 5) 83.0 41.5
GHG Account figures, expressed as a percentage reduction from the baseline period (5). 0.0% -49.9%

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

3. Values for the base inventory use updated global warming potentials as shown in chart D4 in the June 2022 publication. In line with international carbon reporting practice, the GWPs used in the 2023 inventory are consistent with the IPCC 5th Assessment Report (AR5 without climate feedback effects. This change has resulted in methane moving from a GWP multiplier of 25 to 28, and nitrous oxide reducing from 298 to 265. Other changes to individual isotopes of fluorinated gases have also been made.

4. Totals may not exactly equal the sum of components due to rounding.

5. The GHG Account for 2020 is shown in Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics 2020 published in June 2022

Under the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019, 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 2021 interim target being a 51.1 per cent reduction from baseline levels.

Table 8 shows a 49.9 per cent reduction from baseline levels in 2021. As a result, the statutory emissions reduction target for 2021 has not been met.



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