The Climate Change (Scotland) Act set out the target of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% before 2050. Transport Scotland are playing a large part of making this target happen.
In order to achieve this, Transport Scotland developed a comprehensive plan to meet these targets. We publish our strategy as part of the Scotland wide emissions reduction plan, The Climate Change Plan. The draft version of the Plan was published in January 2017.
Transport Scotland also publishes the yearly Carbon Account for Transport, providing a detailed annual update on Scotland's transport emissions.
In 2014, transport emissions (including those from international aviation and shipping) amounted to 12.9 MtCO2e, below the 1990 baseline figure of 13.3 MtCO2e. Currently, transport accounts for 28% of total Scottish emissions. Within that long term profile, we have seen significant reductions recently: since transport emissions peaked at 14.9 MtCO2e in 2007, they have fallen year on year by a total of 2.0 MtCO2e. This is a 13% reduction in seven years.
The largest contributor to transport emissions is the road sector, accounting for 9.4 MtCO2e in 2014 (73% of total transport emissions).
Emissions from maritime transport are estimated to be 1.4 MtCO2e, or 11% of total transport emissions.
Aviation emissions stood at 1.9 MtCO2e in 2014, or 15% of the total transport emissions. Of this, international aviation accounted for 63% of all aviation emissions.
Rail accounted for 0.2 MtCO2e of transport emissions in 2014, or 1.3% of all transport emissions.
Climate change study
Transport Scotland commissioned two studies in 2005 which were then updated in 2009, looking at the risk of landslides and how climate change will affect the road network.
Read both of the reports below:
The Scottish Government is committed to providing a world class transport system which provides the people of Scotland with efficient travel and which allows the country and its economy to thrive. Our road network is central to this, but it is also severely affected by extreme weather, which will increase as the effects climate change escalate.
The general conclusion from the study is that the climatic changes expected in Scotland in the near future, until the 2020s, are relatively small.
However, even these small changes can make a big enough impact to warrant adjustment of current practices. While the report notes that these changes are likely to become more marked over the longer term, the degree of uncertainty associated with these predictions increases.
The published report presented a series of 28 recommendations for the design and operation of the road network focussing on responding to climatic changes predicted to occur in the near future.
In 2008 a further report was published to assess progress against the 28 recommendations. This report follows the same structure as the original study report and details the progress in implementing each of the recommendations in terms of their relative urgency
Carbon management on our operations
We have developed and implemented a Carbon Management System (CMS) to fulfil two crucial roles.
- Consistent and objective measurement of carbon emissions from Transport Scotland's construction and maintenance operations and schemes.
- Supporting design and construction optioneering for our operations and schemes.
We will gather data from across the operational, construction and maintenance activities of Transport Scotland. Our contracts with operating companies, particularly BEAR Scotland and Scotland Transerv, state that they have to supply and record carbon data via our CMS. Our major infrastructure projects will also use our CMS for monitoring carbon emissions.
The CMS emerged as a result of the Sustainability Review 2010 and was designed in conjunction with industry construction stakeholders. It is based on Excel spreadsheet software and consists of the following tools:
- Annual Account
- Road and Infrastructure Projects Tool
- Rail Infrastructure Projects Tool
- Data Templates for Projects
- Buildings Tool
An instruction manual accompanies our CMS tools to explain how, why and when carbon data should be captured and returned to us. Although they are not yet available to download, our CMS tool are available on request.