Scotland's Carbon Footprint: 1998-2016

24 December 2019

Article: 53/5105

On 17 December 2019, Scotland’s chief statistician published ‘Scotland’s Carbon Footprint: 1998-2016’. The report provides estimates of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions on a consumption basis, 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.

The key points highlighted are that: 

  • Between 2015 and 2016, the carbon footprint, which is the emissions from all greenhouse gases, decreased by 6.9% to a record low of 73.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e). This is the largest year-on-year decrease since the recession in 2008. 
  • Between 1998 and 2016, the carbon footprint fell by 12.3%, from 84.1 MtCO2e in 1998 to 73.8 MtCO2e in 2016. 
  • Scotland's carbon footprint rose steadily from 1999 to a peak of 100.9 MtCO2e in 2007 before falling sharply in the following years, coinciding with the recession. 
  • Scotland's carbon footprint has generally fallen gradually in more recent years, with the overall reduction of 26.9% being recorded between the 2007 peak and 2016.

Source: Scottish Government, 17 December 2019