Description:

To reduce total net greenhouse gas emissions by 100% by 2045.  This incorporates linear trends between 2018 and 2030, and further linear reductions between 2030, 2040 and 2045.

The indicator aims to monitor the contribution that Scotland is making to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

1990 is used as a baseline for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide and 1995 for the F gases (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride).  This mirrors the requirements of the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019.

Source of Data:

All the targets use the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) disaggregated greenhouse gas inventory and estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from international aviation and shipping as the main evidence source.

The inventory data are those currently published by Ricardo Energy & Environment under contract to Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), Scottish Government (SG), Welsh Government and Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland.  Ricardo Energy & Environment conduct detailed quality assurance.

Emissions will be published in the environment statistics section of the SG website:  http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Environment

The emissions figures are those published in "Greenhouse gas inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland" on the NAEI website.

The indicator – GHG emissions account - uses the sum of the greenhouse gas emissions assigned to Scotland in the disaggregated greenhouse gas inventory (taking account of any removals such as those resulting from afforestation) and the emissions from international aviation and shipping, expressed as tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent. These emissions are adjusted for ongoing revisions to the inventory as a result of improvements to the methodologies and science underpinning the estimates.  Further information on these adjustments may be found in section C in the 2020 Scottish Greenhouse Gas Statistics release.  This adjustment has been incorporated in order to allow consistency with current legislative requirements.

Definitions:

For this target, the greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and the F-gases - hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride.

Baseline period:

1990 is used as the baseline for carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, and 1995 for the F-gases (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride).  This is in line with international requirements specified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Baseline figure:

75.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (1990 for carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, 1995 for the F-gases (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons , sulphur hexafluoride and nitrogen trifluoride).  This baseline is based on the 1990-2016 inventory (published June 2018).

Criteria for Change:

The most important part of the evaluation is based on a comparison of the percentage reductions in emissions achieved from the Baseline with the percentage reductions in emissions required in that year, on a trajectory to meet the 100 per cent reduction in emission required by 2045.

The year-on-year evaluation is based on a comparison of the percentage reduction in emissions achieved in the latest year against the percentage reductions in emissions required under legislation in the latest year compared to the previous year.

  • If the percentage reduction in emissions exceeds the reduction required in the latest year, relative to the previous year, it suggests that performance is improving.

  • If the target, for instance as a result of previous years’ performance, is in fact achieved but the latest year indicates a lower annual percentage reduction than required under legislation compared to the previous year,  then performance will be considered to be maintaining.

  • If the target for the latest year is not achieved and the percentage reductions are less than the emissions reductions required for that year, this suggests that performance is worsening.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.

Future issues or reviews:

 

Every year, the greenhouse gas inventories are updated to reflect improvements in the underpinning science, data and modelling which often result in revisions to the entire time series.  These revisions also reflect changes to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guidelines. 

There are a number of projects underway which might result in revisions to values in the next edition of these statistics (June 2023).  For instance:

  • Changes to the global warming potentials for non-CO2 greenhouse gases as a result of updated guidance from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

  • It is expected that the Committee on Climate Change will recommend that the base-year inventory against which performance against targets will be rebased.

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