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Scottish Emissions of Air Pollutants - 2014 Results

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today announces the release of a report on Scottish emissions of carbon monoxide, ammonia, nitrogen oxides, sub-10 micron particulate matter (PM10), sulphur dioxide, lead and non-methane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) on the National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) website.

The main findings are:

  • Over the long term there have been reductions in emissions for all the pollutants. Since 1990, there have been decreases of 13 per cent for ammonia, 46 per cent for PM10, 65 per cent for NMVOCs, 69 per cent for nitrogen oxides, 75 per cent for carbon monoxide, 90 per cent for sulphur dioxide and 98 per cent for lead.

In 2014:

  • Ammonia – Scottish emissions accounted for 13 per cent of UK emissions. The main source of Scottish emissions was agriculture responsible for 87 per cent of emissions.
  • PM10 – Scottish emissions accounted for 12 per cent of UK emissions. Forty seven per cent of Scottish emissions came from commercial, domestic and agricultural combustion, 12 per cent from agriculture and 12 per cent from transport sources.
  • Nitrogen oxides – Scottish emissions accounted for 10 per cent of UK emissions. Transport sources accounted for 39 per cent of Scottish emissions, energy industries 32 per cent and industrial combustion 15 per cent.
  • NMVOCs – Scottish emissions accounted for 18 per cent of UK emissions. Industrial processes (mainly breweries and distilleries) accounted for 46 per cent of Scottish emissions, solvents and other product use 21 per cent and fugitive emissions from fuels 13 per cent.
  • Sulphur dioxide – Scottish emissions accounted for 10 per cent of UK emissions. Seventy five per cent of Scottish emissions came from power generation, 8 per cent from industrial combustion and 8 per cent from commercial, domestic and agricultural combustion.
  • Carbon monoxide – Scottish emissions accounted for 8 per cent of UK emissions. Commercial, domestic and agricultural combustion accounted for 46 per cent of Scottish emissions, transport 24 per cent and 23 per cent came from industrial combustion.
  • Lead – Scottish emissions accounted for 6 per cent of UK emissions. Industrial processes accounted for 39 per cent of Scottish emissions, industrial combustion 23 per cent, commercial, domestic and agricultural combustion 17 per cent and energy industries 15 per cent.

The 1990-2014 figures in this Statistics Release are from the NAEI report “Air Quality Pollutant Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 1990 – 2014”, produced by Aether and Ricardo-AEA for the Scottish Government, the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Welsh Assembly Government and the Northern Ireland Department of Environment.

Emissions from the offshore oil and gas exploration sector are not attributed to a specific country but are reported within an “unallocated” category.

There are uncertainties associated with all estimates of pollutant emissions. The uncertainty rating are “high” for ammonia, carbon monoxide and PM10, “moderate” for NMVOCs and lead and “low” for nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide. However, although for any given year considerable uncertainties may surround the emission estimates, it should be noted that trends over time are likely to be more reliable.

Air pollutant emissions are reviewed every year, and the whole historical data series is revised to incorporate methodological improvements and new data.

Notes To Editors

The publication together with full technical explanations can be accessed at:
http://naei.defra.gov.uk/reports/reports?report_id=915

Results for Scottish greenhouse gas emissions, also covered in the NAEI, were published in a separate statistics release on 14 June. For details see: http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/06/2307

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/About

Contact Information

SG Communications

SGCommunications@scot.gov.uk

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