4. Comparison of key Scottish and UK transport emissions statistics

Carbon Account For Transport Volume 9, 2017

4. Comparison of key Scottish and UK transport emissions statistics

Figure 16 compares emission shares and performance in Scotland to the UK as a whole.

  • In 2015, Scottish transport accounted for 9.0% of UK transport emissions excluding international aviation and shipping, and 8.2% including them.
  • Scotland’s share of UK emissions from buses and coaches, rural roads and domestic aviation were higher in 2015 than Scotland’s share of total UK transport emissions.
  • However, Scotland accounts for proportionally less than the UK as a whole for motorway and international aviation emissions.
  • Total transport emissions fell -1.1% in Scotland between 1990 and 2015, while they rose 10.1% in the UK.
  • However, removing international aviation and shipping shows a 0.4% rise in Scotland and a -1.5% fall in UK over the same period. The large rise in total UK emissions over the period is attributable to the growth in international aviation traffic.
Figure 16: Comparison of Scottish and UK greenhouse gas emissions
2015 Emissions 2014-2015 % Changes 1990-2015 % Change
Emissions are given in kt CO2e Scotland UK Scotland as % of UK Scotland UK Scotland UK
 Transport incl. IAS 13,145 160,901 8.2% 0.4% 0.8% -1.1% 10.1%
Transport  excl. IAS  10,781 120,022 9.0% 1.4% 1.9% 0.4% -1.5%
Road Transport 9,562 111,521 8.6% 1.5% 2.1% 4.1% 0.9%
of which:






Cars 5,673 69,117 8.2% 0.9% 1.2% -2.0% -4.4%
HGVs 1,727 19,647 8.8% 2.2% 4.5% -3.5% -4.0%
LGVs 1,618 18,040 9.0% 4.6% 4.2% 69.2% 55.0%
Bus and coach 467 3,680 12.7% -3.0% -4.0% -21.7% -29.9%
Motorcycles 33 518 6.4% -0.7% 0.6% -2.0% -32.9%
Rural 4,751 44,176 10.8% 2.7% 2.9% 2.5% 5.1%
Urban 2,964 40,543 7.3% 0.1% 0.4% -12.8% -17.1%
Motorway 1,789 26,109 6.9% 0.7% 3.5% 59.8% 35.3%
Rail Transport 166 1,912 8.7% -4.5% -6.5% 33.7% -2.5%
Domestic Aviation  623 2,975 20.9% -0.1% -0.6% -22.6% -44.8%
Total Aviation  2,034 36,979 5.5% 6.0% 1.3% 46.1% 74.4%
Domestic Maritime  334 3,045 11.0% 3.5% 3.5% -42.4% -17.4%
Total Maritime  1,382 10,490 13.2% -12.4% -11.0% -46.8% -15.5%

Source: National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory

Figure 17 breaks down UK emissions into its four constituent nations. 

  • In Scotland in 2015, total transport emissions including IAS were -1.1% below the 1990 baseline. This is a smaller proportional decrease than in Wales, but better than in England and Northern Ireland, where emissions have risen since 1990.
Figure 17: Comparison of Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transport
Emissions are given in kt CO2e
Road Rail Domestic Aviation[17] Total Aviation incl. IAS Domestic Maritime Total Maritime incl. IS Total excl. IAS Total incl. IAS
Scotland Emissions 2015 9,562 166 719 2,034 334 1,382 10,781 13,145
% Change 2014-15 1.5% -4.5% 0.6% 6.0% 3.5% -12.4% 1.4% 0.4%
1990-2015 4.1% 33.7% -15.7% 46.1% -42.4% -46.8% 0.4% -1.1%
England Emissions 2015 92,415 1,617 2,524 34,435 2,363 7,535 98,919 136,001
% Change 2014-15 2.1% -6.8% 0.0% 1.0% 2.9% -11.4% 1.9% 0.9%
1990-2015 -0.5% -7.3% -42.4% 78.6% -13.4% -8.1% -2.8% 11.4%
Wales Emissions 2015 5,658 91 61 128 234 1,078 6,044 6,956
% Change 2014-15 1.9% -6.3% -3.1% 3.4% 9.0% -6.9% 2.0% 0.4%
1990-2015 1.4% 31.7% -65.5% -49.2% -13.7% -8.7% -0.8% -1.8%
N.Ireland Emissions 2015 3,885 38 240 381 115 960 4,278 5,264
% Change 2014-15 1.9% -1.4% 3.2% 4.1% 5.6% -8.8% 2.1% -0.1%
1990-2015 32.1% 52.9% 3.4% 33.7% 5.7% -5.8% 29.4% 23.3%

Source: National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory