Scotland’s carbon footprint, 1998 to 2018

22 March 2022

Article: 56/1107

On 15 March 2022, Scotland's Chief Statistician published a report detailing Scotland’s carbon footprint between 1998 and 2018. The report provides estimates of Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions on a consumption basis, covering emissions associated with spending by Scottish residents on goods and services, wherever in the world these emissions arise, together with emissions directly generated by Scottish households. 

The report examines the following key points.

  • Between 2017 and 2018, Scotland’s carbon footprint, consisting of emissions from all greenhouse gases, increased by 2.6% from 68.7 to 70.4 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) from 2017 to 2018. This increase was mainly related to emissions associated with imported goods and services, although domestic emissions also increased in 2018.
  • Between 1998 and 2017, Scotland’s carbon footprint fell by 30.5%, from 101.3 MtCO2e in 1998 to 70.4 MtCO2e in 2018.
  • Scotland’s carbon footprint rose from 2004 onwards to a peak of 107.6 MtCO2e in 2007, before falling sharply in the following years and, with the exception of 2012 and 2018, fell each subsequent year. The overall reduction between the 2007 peak and 2018 was 34.5%. 

Source: Scottish Government, 15 March 2022