Scotland’s carbon footprint has fallen to a record low, but emissions from private vehicles continue to damage the environment, new figures have revealed.
Between 1998 and 2017, Scotland’s carbon footprint fell by 21.1 per cent, with a 3.5 per cent fall between 2016 and 2017.
However, private motoring emissions increased by 12.1 per cent from 1998, and 2.0 per cent from 2016.
Shared transport organisation Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) said pay-per-trip car clubs, sometimes known as car sharing, are the key to driving down emissions.
There are now over 25,000 members of car clubs in Scotland, but research has estimated that 634,000 households could potentially switch to the increasingly popular practice.
Car club vehicles are far less polluting than the average car on Scotland’s roads. Emissions from car club vehicles in Scotland are 43 per cent lower than the average UK car, and 98 per cent of car club cars are compliant with low emission zones.
Research shows that 16 per cent of car club users walk more; 10 per cent cycle more and 26 per cent cut their private car use after joining a car club.

Lorna Finlayson, Scotland director for CoMoUK, said:
“The huge fall in Scotland’s carbon footprint is very welcome, but it’s clear that private vehicle use is holding back even further progress.
“Shared transport can help achieve net zero carbon emissions as it enables people to use transport without the need to own it, shifting to services such as car sharing.
“There are 634,000 households in Scotland that could potentially switch from car ownership to car club membership.
“With the eyes of the world on Scotland ahead of COP26 in Glasgow, now is the time to seize the opportunity to drive down our country’s carbon footprint and build a more sustainable future for our country.”