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Emissions of Pollution Species

These pages provide information on emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere in Scotland. The UK National Atmospheric Emissions Inventory (NAEI) calculates total emissions for the UK from a comprehensive range of sources including industry, domestic, transport etc. The UK inventory is now disaggregated into the UK constituent countries.

Within Scotland, SEPA collates the detailed information on emissions from industrial sources into the Scottish Pollution Release Inventory (SPRI); this includes emissions to water and soil as well as to air. Full details are available on the SEPA SPRI database: http://www.sepa.org.uk/air/process_industry_regulation/pollutant_release_inventory.aspx

There is also a link to the SEPA SPRI website on the home page of this website http://www.scottishairquality.scot/data/emissions. The data from the SPRI form the basis of the industrial emission data for Scotland which are incorporated into the NAEI.

Information provided on these pages on the main industrial emissions in Scotland have been compiled from the information presented on SEPA’s SPRI, with permission from SEPA. The data provided is up to 2019, which is the most recent data.

NAEI data for Scotland

The NAEI data for Scotland are reported using the Nomenclature for Reporting (NFR) format. The Nomenclature for Reporting is a reporting structure that was introduced in 2001 and is used for submitting data to international organisations such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (EMEP).

Since the 2017 report emissions data for PM2.5 is included at the request of both the Scottish Governments. It should be note however that the emissions dataset for PM2.5 is very limited, and the inventory is heavily based on assumptions of PM2.5 share of the PM10 for different emissions sources. In addition, in should also be note that the indicative uncertainty rating for both PM10 and PM2.5 is “High”. For more information on the uncertainty assessment see section 1.4 of “Air Quality Pollutant Inventories, for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: 2005 – 2019”.

When comparing previously reported emissions data you will see a difference in the figures stated. This is because the emissions dataset is recalculated each year and a revision of historic time series is carried out if a more accurate and applicable data source becomes available. 

The interactive graphs available below illustrate the change in emissions since 2005 of all eight pollutants stated in the 2005 – 20019 report. In previous iterations of this series of reports, data was provided back to 1990. For information on data back to 1990 and more detailed explanatory description of what is happening with individual emissions please refer to the “Air Quality Pollutant Inventories, for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland” report series (https://naei.beis.gov.uk/reports/reports?report_id=1030) and also the Scottish air Quality Database Annual Report series (http://www.scottishairquality.scot/news/reports?view=technical).