Carbon footprint of Scottish homes ‘falls by 25%’

The carbon footprint of homes across Scotland has fallen by an average of 25% since the Scottish Climate Change Act was passed in 2009, according to an environmental charity.

WWF Scotland said the growth of renewables, more efficient homes and appliances, and governments’ climate change policies have all contributed to the fall in climate change footprint of each individual’s household energy consumption.

The charity’s analysis of official statistics from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) shows how the ‘climate damage’ caused by people using electricity, gas and other fuels to power and heat their homes has fallen rapidly since the first Climate Change Act was passed.

Since then Scotland’s electricity supply has decarbonised significantly, with renewables now providing over half of Scotland’s electricity generation. There have also been improvements in the energy efficiency of buildings, driven by government programmes, and more efficient appliances, driven by EU regulations.

Gina Hanrahan, acting head of policy at WWF Scotland, said: “The Scottish Parliament’s first Climate Change Act put us at the forefront of a global energy transition. These figures show that individuals across Scotland and governments at every level have played a part in cutting the climate damage of our home energy usage. When it comes to cutting our emissions, and protecting ourselves, the places and nature we hold dear from the worst effects of climate change, we all need to continue to do our bit.

“This analysis shows Scotland’s low-carbon transition is working, but we must step up our efforts. A new Climate Change Bill this year is an opportunity to double down on our commitments to make our homes more energy efficient, to increase the use of renewables to heat homes, and put Scotland on the path to a zero-carbon future.”

A Scottish Government spokesman said: “We welcome this analysis which shows the progress that we have made on climate change.

“Over the past 10 years, Scotland has been at the forefront of the global fight against climate change and continues to lead the UK in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our recent programme for government includes bold new commitments on low-carbon transport and infrastructure and accelerates our action on energy efficiency.”

This table shows how per capita (per person per year) domestic emissions (from household use of electricity, gas and other fuels) have fallen between 2009 (when Scotland passed its first Climate Change Act) and 2015 (the most recent figures).

Local authority area 2009 per capita domestic Emissions (t) 2015 per capita domestic Emissions (t) per capita % domestic emission reduction 2009-2015
Aberdeen City 2.39 1.76 26.4%
Aberdeenshire 2.93 2.15 26.7%
Angus 2.63 1.96 25.6%
Argyll and Bute 3.12 2.28 27.1%
Clackmannanshire 2.33 1.80 22.5%
Dumfries & Galloway 2.80 2.11 24.7%
Dundee City 2.31 1.65 28.5%
East Ayrshire 2.32 1.79 22.8%
East Dunbartonshire 2.50 1.95 22.1%
East Lothian 2.38 1.80 24.4%
East Renfrewshire 2.49 1.93 22.4%
City of Edinburgh 2.24 1.65 26.7%
Eilean Siar 3.73 2.71 27.5%
Falkirk 2.35 1.81 22.8%
Fife 2.42 1.88 22.2%
Glasgow City 2.05 1.47 28.2%
Highland 3.27 2.28 30.3%
Inverclyde 2.29 1.77 22.4%
Midlothian 2.24 1.71 23.6%
Moray 2.64 1.97 25.2%
North Ayrshire 2.33 1.78 23.6%
North Lanarkshire 2.20 1.72 22.1%
Orkney Islands 3.50 2.46 29.8%
Perth and Kinross 2.87 2.05 28.7%
Renfrewshire 2.26 1.71 24.2%
Scottish Borders 2.95 2.23 24.4%
Shetland Islands 3.33 2.35 29.3%
South Ayrshire 2.55 1.96 23.1%
South Lanarkshire 2.46 1.89 23.1%
Stirling 2.59 1.91 26.3%
West Dunbartonshire 2.14 1.64 23.4%
West Lothian 2.23 1.75 21.6%
Scotland Total 2.46 1.84 25.3%