Shock increase in Scottish greenhouse gas emissions

Lemissionsatest figures from the Scottish Government have revealed that a decade-long decline in greenhouse emissions has gone into reverse, with latest annual emissions increasing by 5.3%.

Earlier in the day, Scotland’s Chief Statistician had published the report, “Scotland’s Carbon Footprint: 1998-2012” which showed that Scotland’s carbon footprint fell by 6.3% between 1998 and 2012, from 82.0 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 1998 to 76.8 MtCO2e in 2012.

The report also showed that Scotland’s carbon footprint had risen fairly steadily from 1998 to a peak of 94.3 MtCO2e in 2007, before falling sharply in the following years (coinciding with the recession) when it fell to 77.1 MtCO2e in 2009.

However, in the latest year, Scotland’s carbon footprint rose from 72.9 MtCO2e in 2011 to 76.8 MtCO2e in 2012 – an increase of 5.3%.

Last night, a Scottish Government spokesman commented: “We are working hard to reduce Scotland’s greenhouse gas footprint, and have seen a 6.3% decrease since 1998 while our population has increased by almost 5% over the same period.


“Although the Scottish Government is leading the way internationally with our transition to a low carbon economy, tackling climate change is not for governments alone – it needs everyone to play their part. Taking action to cut waste and use resources more efficiently can help Scottish businesses and households save money as well as reducing emissions, no matter where products are sourced.”


The Scottish Carbon Footprint report provides estimates of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions on a consumption basis; that is 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.

A carbon dioxide equivalent is a metric measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases on the basis of their global warming potential by converting amounts of other gases to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same global warming potential. Global warming potential describes the relative potency, molecule for molecule, of a greenhouse gas, taking account of how long it remains active in the atmosphere.

The full statistical publication can be accessed at:

Pixie Energy

Pixie logo Pixie Energy is an incubator and a facilitator of strategic research and project work, focusing on energy regulation, policy and markets at the local and national level. Find out more about Pixie Energy here.

Local Energy Matters: Scotland

Local Energy Matters: Scotland is a free-to-download brochure with a focus on energy tariffs in the two Scottish electricity distribution regions, as well news on local energy and low-carbon schemes.

Previous editions can be download here.

Scottish energy market overview

You can read an overview of the Scottish energy market here.

Scottish Government energy feed