Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics 2022

Official statistics showing emissions of greenhouse gases in Scotland over the period 1990 to 2022.

There are two measures of greenhouse gases presented in this release:

Source Emissions

A net measure of the actual emissions and removals of greenhouse gases in Scotland.  Includes international aviation and shipping.

This measure can be used for UK and international comparisons.

  • 40.6 MtCO2e in 2022
  • Down 50.1% from 1990
  • Down 0.1% from 2021

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 50.0% from baseline period

On this adjusted basis, the GHG account reduced by 50.0 per cent between the baseline period and 2022.  The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 specifies a target reduction of 53.8 per cent reduction over the same period.

Therefore the interim target for 2022 has not been met.

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.

Chart 1: Scottish Greenhouse Gas Emissions, 1990 to 2022.

Line chart of long-term emissions over 1990 to 2022 - indicating a strong downward trend.  Effectively no change in the latest year.

In 2022, Scottish source emissions of the basket of seven greenhouse gases were estimated to be 40.6 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). This level of emissions is essentially unchanged from the position in 2021; with a very slight reduction of 0.1 per cent in the latest year.

 However, the stable level of net emissions between 2021 and 2022 belies a substantial amount of volatility at the sectoral level.

There was a very large reduction in emissions in the Buildings and product use sector of 1.2 MtCO2e in 2022, with a combination of elevated fuel prices and relatively mild temperatures at the start of 2022 being principally responsible for this drop. More modest reductions were seen in Agriculture (-0.3 MtCO2e) and Industry (-0.1 MtCO2e).

However, these reductions were almost entirely offset by increases in emissions in all other sectors.  International Aviation and shipping showed an increase in emissions of 0.7 MtCO2e and Domestic transport increased by 0.3 MtCO2e.  Both of these increases principally relate to recovery from the impact of the COVID restrictions on transport.  Increases of 0.2 MtCO2e were also seen in Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) and Electricity supply.  Fuel supply emissions increased marginally by 0.1 MtCO2e, and a very minor increase was observed in waste emissions.

Between 1990 and 2022, there was a 50.1 per cent reduction in estimated net emissions, a 40.8 MtCO2e decrease, with all sectors except International Aviation and shipping falling over the period.  The contributions to this overall reduction, in descending order of significance, were:

  • Reduction in Electricity Supply emissions (i.e. power stations) (-13.0 MtCO2e; 88.1 per cent reduction)
  • Industrial emissions fell 7.2 MtCO2e (56.8 per cent reduction)
  • ‘Land Use, Land Use Change And Forestry’ (LULUCF) reducing its net emissions over the period, reducing by 5.8 MtCO2e since 1990.
  • Reduction in Waste Management emissions (such as Landfill) (-4.9 MtCO2e; a 75.4 per cent reduction)
  • Reduction in Buildings and product use emissions (-3.6 MtCO2e; a 32.7 per cent reduction)
  • Reduction in Fuel supply emissions (-3.3 MtCO2e; a 49.9 per cent reduction).
  • Domestic transport fell by 2.0 MtCO2e (a 15 per cent reduction)
  • Agricultural emissions fell by 1.0 MtCO2e (an 11.9 per cent reduction)

International aviation and shipping emissions increased slightly by 0.2 MtCO2e

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 2022 figures with the 2021 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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