Technical Information: Climate:
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Last updated: 04 November 2021

Greenhouse gas emissions

Indicator Updated: 04 November 2021

Year % change in emissions (relative to 1990 baseline) (%)
1990 0.0
1995 -0.1
1998 -2.0
1999 -6.3
2000 -4.9
2001 -5.8
2002 -11.5
2003 -12.0
2004 -15.3
2005 -18.0
2006 -15.1
2007 -20.9
2008 -22.6
2009 -28.4
2010 -26.3
2011 -35.0
2012 -32.0
2013 -36.1
2014 -41.3
2015 -43.2
2016 -49.0
2017 -50.9
2018 -50.1
2019 -51.5

This National Performance Framework indicator reports greenhouse gas emissions as a percentage change achieved from the baseline figure in 1990.

The indicator reports Scotland’s territorial greenhouse gas emissions including emissions from international aviation and shipping. It is based directly on progress towards Scotland’s statutory emissions reduction targets which, in line with reporting under the UN Paris Agreement, concern territorial emissions.

In September 2019 the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets) (Scotland) Act 2019 attained Royal assent. This Act included a new method of assessing performance against statutory emissions-reduction targets which was recommended by the Committee on Climate Change. The data resulting from this change is available here. As a result of this change, this indicator has a new time-series for which there is currently only the 2018 figure.

The 2019 Act includes targets to reduce Scotland’s emissions of all greenhouse gases to net-zero by 2045 at the latest, with interim targets for reductions of at least 56% by 2020, 75% by 2030, 90% by 2040.

Source: 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 most recent UK greenhouse gas emissions inventory report is here.

Update Frequency: Annual

Further Information: Greenhouse gas emissions indicator information is available on the National Performance Framework website. More detailed information on the monitoring framework of the Climate Change Plan is available here.




Scotland’s carbon footprint

Indicator Updated: 04 November 2021

Year Carbon footprint (MtCO2e)
1998 89.6
1999 88.5
2000 90.3
2001 91.6
2002 90.4
2003 92.1
2004 96.6
2005 99.3
2006 100.0
2007 101.1
2008 94.2
2009 83.6
2010 82.9
2011 79.8
2012 79.0
2013 78.4
2014 77.7
2015 79.4
2016 73.3
2017 70.7

This National Performance Framework indicator measures all of the greenhouse gases emitted as a result of the goods and services consumed in Scotland – wherever in the world those emissions are produced. It includes the territorial emissions directly generated by Scottish households (e.g. through heating and motoring) plus the indirect emissions associated with our consumption of imported and domestically produced goods, across the full supply chain.

Source: The data is produced by Leeds University and published by the Scottish Government The most recent report on Scotland’s carbon footprint is available here.

Update Frequency: Annual

Further Information: Scotland’s carbon footprint indicator information is available on the National Performance Framework website.




Nature-based solutions to climate change

There are three metrics concerning nature-based solutions to climate change:

(i) Woodland creation

Indicator Updated: 04 November 2021

Year Area of woodland created (thousands hectares per year)
1976 22.95
1977 18.97
1978 17.19
1979 17.33
1980 21.18
1981 17.47
1982 20.84
1983 18.25
1984 21.99
1985 19.39
1986 21.57
1987 22.35
1988 25.84
1989 26.39
1990 15.28
1991 14.03
1992 12.70
1993 12.13
1994 10.47
1995 13.41
1996 10.56
1997 11.78
1998 11.43
1999 10.47
2000 10.37
2001 11.72
2002 8.04
2003 6.74
2004 6.79
2005 5.69
2006 4.00
2007 6.59
2008 4.19
2009 3.44
2010 2.72
2011 6.02
2012 9.03
2013 7.04
2014 8.33
2015 7.56
2016 4.63
2017 4.76
2018 7.14
2019 11.21
2020 11.05

This metric measures the area of woodland planted each year in Scotland.

There is currently a target of 12,000 hectares planted each year from 2020, derived from 'Securing a green recovery on a path to net zero: climate change plan 2018–2032 – update’.

Source: The woodland creation data are published by Forest Research, the research agency of the Forestry Commission.

Update Frequency: Annual

Further Information: Woodland creation metric information is available from Forest Research.

(ii) Woodland ecological condition

Indicator Updated: 04 November 2021

% of woodland areas by ecology state (%)
Type Percentage Unfavourable Woodland Unfavourable Standard Error Percentage Intermediate Woodland Intermediate Standard Error Percentage Favourable Woodland Favourable Standard Error
Native 2.5 NA 94.3 NA 3.2 NA
Near Native 4.4 NA 95.1 NA 0.4 NA
Non Native 5.8 NA 94.1 NA 0.1 NA

The overall ecological condition of the area of woodlands is assessed by combining 15 individual indicators and reporting the total areas categorised as Favourable, Intermediate and Unfavourable. The results are further reported by tree species, categorised as native, near native and non-native.

The data used to assess woodland condition was collected over the period January 2010 to January 2016. These are the first figures to be published using this methodology. A second five year data collection exercise is currently underway.

Source: The woodland ecological condition data are published by Forest Research, the research agency of the Forestry Commission.

Update Frequency: The data is expected to be updated every five years.

Further Information: Woodland ecological condition metric information is available from Forest Research.

(iii) Peatland restoration

Indicator Updated: 04 November 2021

Year Cumulative area of peatland restored since 2012 (thousands hectares)
2012-13 0.27
2013-14 0.69
2014-15 6.26
2015-16 9.07
2016-17 9.52
2017-18 13.18
2018-19 18.99
2019-20 24.99

This metric reports the cumulative area of peatland assessed as “on the road to restoration” each year.

The Climate Change Plan 2017-2032 set out the long-term ambition to restore 250,000 hectares of peatland by 2030. The 'Securing a green recovery on a path to net zero: climate change plan 2018–2032 – update’ reflects the increased ambition of the new targets set in the Climate Change (Emissions Reduction Targets)(Scotland) Act 2019.

Source: NatureScot

Update Frequency: Annual

Further Information: Peatland restoration metric information is available from NatureScot.