Scottish greenhouse gas statistics 2020

14 June 2022

Article: 56/2313

On 7 June 2022, the Scottish Government published official statistics, highlighting greenhouse gas emissions in Scotland from 1990 to 2020. The statistics cover two separate measures of greenhouse gases, source emissions and emissions for reporting against targets: 

  • Source emissions are a measure of the actual emissions or removals of greenhouse gases in Scotland, including international aviation and shipping. In 2020, source emissions were 40.0 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e), falling by 51.0 per cent between 1990 and 2020 and falling by 12.0 per cent between 2019 and 2020. In the latest year, emissions from transport fell sharply due to the impact of COVID-19 restrictions in place during 2020. 
  • The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 implements the Climate Change Committee (CCC)’s recommended method of reporting emissions for the purposes of assessing progress against targets. This method, which acts to remove the impact of technical data revisions to the historical time-series, is known as the GHG Account, which reduced by 58.7 per cent between the baseline period and 2020. The Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 specifies a target of a 56.0 per cent reduction over the same period, ensuring the interim target for 2020 was met. 

The baseline period for measuring progress against targets uses 1990 for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, and 1995 for hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride. 

Source: Scottish Government, 7 June 2022