Scotland’s Carbon Footprint: 1998 to 2017

09 February 2021

Article: 55/0607

On 2 February 2021, Scotland’s chief statistician published ‘Scotland’s Carbon Footprint: 1998-2017’. The report provides estimates of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions on a consumption basis, meaning emissions that are associated with the spending of Scottish residents on goods and services, wherever in the world these emissions arise, together with emissions directly generated by Scottish households. 

In key findings from the report: 

  • Between 2016 and 2017, Scotland’s carbon footprint, which is the emissions from all greenhouse gases, decreased by 3.5% to a record low of 70.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). 
  • Between 1998 and 2017, Scotland’s carbon footprint fell by 21.1%, from 89.6 MtCO2e in 1998 to 70.7 MtCO2e in 2017. 
  • Scotland’s carbon footprint rose from 1999 onwards to a peak of 101.1 MtCO2e in 2007, before falling sharply in the following years, coinciding with the recession, and has generally fallen gradually in more recent years. The overall reduction between the 2007 peak and 2017 is 30%.

Source: Scottish Government, 2 February 2021