Increase in annual greenhouse gas emissions from Scotland


Paul Wheelhouse, MSP, Environment Minister
Paul Wheelhouse, MSP, Environment Minister

In 2012, Scottish emissions of the basket of six greenhouse gases are estimated to be 52.9 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). This is 0.8% higher than the 2011 figure of 52.5 MtCO2e.

Between 1990 and 2012, there was a 29.9% reduction in estimated emissions in Scotland. The main contributors to this reduction have been a fall in energy supply emissions (such as in the production of electricity) and from business and industrial emissions.

The equivalent figures for the UK (onshore) indicate that there was a 2.9% increase between 2011 and 2012 and a 23.7% reduction between 1990 and 2012.

When emissions are adjusted to take account of trading in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), emissions increased by 0.5% between 2011 and 2012 (from 55.4 MtCO2e to 55.7 MtCO2e).

Compared to the Baseline, emissions in 2012 were 26.4% lower after taking account of trading in the EU ETS.

Scotland’s Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse, MSP, commented: “Scotland has the world’s leading climate change targets. With a target of 42% by 2020 we are ahead of the UK at 34% and well ahead of the EU at 20%.

“Scotland chose to have stretching targets because we were aware of the scale of the challenge of climate change. And we should be proud of the efforts that have been made across society since the 2009 Climate Change Act.

“However since then we have also improved the method for calculating our greenhouse gas emissions. That was the right thing to do, but it now shows that the task is in fact even harder than Parliament and society realised in 2009.”

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