Executive Summary

Carbon Account For Transport Volume 9, 2017

Executive Summary

The Carbon Account for Transport provides a balance sheet for Scotland’s greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2015, and the impacts of transport related policies and projects expected to affect these emissions.

The main findings from volume 9 are:

  • Total greenhouse gas emissions for Scotland in 2015 were 48.1 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (Mt CO2e). Transport, including International Aviation and Shipping (IAS), accounted for 13.1 Mt CO2e, which is 27.4% of the total. In 2015, transport overtook energy supply as the largest sectorial contributor to Scottish greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The latest National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory data now shows that Scottish transport emissions including IAS rose in 2014 and 2015.
  • In 2015, road transport accounted for 72.7% of total transport emissions. Cars and goods vehicles (light and heavy combined) accounted for 43.2% and 25.4% of total transport emissions respectively.
  • Looking at Scottish emissions over the period 1990-2015:
  • At 13.1 Mt CO2e total transport emissions in 2015 were -1.1% below the 1990 level. Emissions from transport peaked at 14.9 Mt CO2e in 2007.
  • At 5.7 Mt CO2e, emissions from cars in 2015 were -2.0% below the 1990 level.
  • Aviation emissions accounted for 2.0 Mt CO2e in 2015, a 46.1% rise on 1990. Domestic aviation emissions fell by -22.6% while international aviation emissions rose by 144.1% over the period.
  • Goods vehicles accounted for 3.3 Mt CO2e in 2015, 21.8% above 1990. Of those, emissions from light goods vehicles increased by 69.2%, while emissions from heavy goods vehicles fell -3.5% over the period.
  • Leading indicators imply that reducing transport emissions is becoming more challenging in the face of rising demand across a range of modes.
  • The specific infrastructure projects outlined add an estimated 0.07 Mt CO2e per annum, which is 0.5% of 2015 transport emissions. This excludes the operational emissions impact from the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Project.
Transport emissions as a share of total Scottish emissions 2015 Change in transport emissions since 2007 Change in emissions: per passanger kilometer for short-haul aviation and cars and per kilometer for HGVs, 2016-2017 Breakdown of transport emissions by mode 1990-2015