Scotland's carbon footprint expressed in million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

The indicator demonstrates the resources required and emissions generated to meet domestic demand, wherever in the world production occurs.

Source of Data:

Leeds University have provided a time series since 1998. A Scottish Government statistics release which also describes the methodology is available on the Scottish Government website:

The total carbon footprint measures all of the greenhouse gases emitted as a result of a population's consumption, including government consumption and capital investment. It looks at the impacts of consumption in terms of greenhouse gas emitted.

When taking a footprint approach for analysing greenhouse gas emissions, calculations incorporate all of the emissions at the point of use (such as burning car fuel, or gas in the home), but also those indirect emissions associated with products consumed. Emissions across the full supply chain are within scope of the assessment regardless of territorial boundaries. This means that footprint results include the impact of imported goods to a country, but exclude any that are exported (as they are consumed elsewhere).


Total carbon footprint: This is defined as Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions on a consumption basis.  This refers to emissions which 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, through private heating and motoring. 

Criteria for Change:

This evaluation is based on: any difference in the percentage within +/- 3% of last year's figure suggests that the position is more likely to be maintaining than showing any change. A decrease of 3% or more suggests the position is improving; whereas an increase of 3% or more suggests the position is worsening. The threshold of 3% chosen is based on an assessment of the data available at this time, and may need to be reviewed as more information becomes available in the future.

For information on general methodological approach, please click here.



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