CCC report: Scotland’s GHG emissions fell almost 10% in 2011

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Scotland fell by 9.9% in 2011, due to large reductions in the power and residential sectors, a report by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) finds.

The reduction in 2011 – the latest year for which data is available – is a larger fall than the whole of the UK, which achieved a 6.9% reduction in the same year.

According to the report, there were large reductions of more than 20% in Scotland’s power and residential sectors, and almost a 15% reduction in the public sector in 2011.

However, the report found that much of this reduction was due to the weather, and a switch from coal fired electricity generation to nuclear and renewable sources. It also reflected “good progress” investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Despite a reduction in emissions, Scotland narrowly missed the legislated annual target of 53.4 MtCO2e by around 0.8 MtCO2e.

The CCC said this is as a result of recent improvements to the method of calculating estimated emissions (Scottish greenhouse gas inventory) which resulted in an addition of 1.2 MtCO2e to 2011 emissions.

It stressed, however, that this “should not distract from the assessment of underlying progress reducing emissions”.

CCC chief executive David Kennedy said: “There has been good progress in Scotland on reducing emissions in key sectors of the economy, notably through investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency. This should not be obscured by the fact that emissions in 2011 were above the level targeted because of a change to the accounting methodology.

“But much remains to be done in terms of policy development and implementation to achieve very challenging future targets, and to unlock the benefits for Scotland of building a low-carbon economy,” he added.

Leigh Stringer

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie