Greenhouse gas emissions by Scottish industry at 10-year low

The largest decrease, according to the data, was in 2016, with Longannet power station. Picture: Michael Gillen
The largest decrease, according to the data, was in 2016, with Longannet power station. Picture: Michael Gillen
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Greenhouse gas emissions by Scottish industry are at a ten-year-low, according to new figures.

A report by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) indicates a change in the pollutants emitted by Scottish regulated businesses as the country moves to become more sustainable and resource efficient.

The analysis was published in the 2017 Scottish Pollutant Release Inventory (SPRI), which is a database of annual mass releases of specified pollutants to air, water and land from SEPA regulated industrial sites.

Since 1993, owners or operators of facilities that have met the SPRI reporting requirements have reported on an annual basis.

Data from SPRI is used to fulfil the reporting requirements of the European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (E-PRTR).

It also provides information about off-site transfers of waste from industry sites.

There has been an increase in the number of sites included in the data, with 1,237 reporting sites in 2017, compared with 1,221 in 2016.

Scottish industry puts pressure on the environment through emissions to the air and water environment and through waste management activities.

Green house gas levels have reduced 57% since 2007 when 26 Megatonnes (Mt) of pollutants were released. The 2017 total was 11 Mt.

The largest decrease, according to the data, was in 2016, with Longannet power station only operational for the first few months of the year.

There was a further reduction of 6% (just under 1 Mt) in 2017 as the first full year with no emissions from the plant.

Terry A’Hearn, SEPA chief executive, said: “The most successful countries in the 21st century will function within our planet’s means to support us.

“Through our regulatory strategy, One Plant Prosperity, SEPA is helping business grow sustainably while reducing their environmental burden.

“Whilst it’s encouraging to see greenhouse gases from Scottish industry at a ten-year low, we recognise further progress needs to be made.

“The data that SPRI holds is vital to helping us understand how these changes are impacting on our environment both directly and indirectly, ensuring Scotland can identify priority areas to reduce releases and track progress.”