Our emissions

Gibraltar’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are shown in the plots below. The pie chart shows the sectoral split that makes up the total annual emissions for the selected year. The dropdown menu can be used to change the year. The bar chart shows emissions by sector over the last few years. Hovering the cursor over the plots gives a breakdown of emissions by sector/sub-sector. Further explanation is provided beneath.


Around half of Gibraltar’s emissions come from stationary energy, particularly from the consumption of electricity; this is due to the reliance on electricity for almost all energy needs, and because, until 2019, electricity was predominantly generated using high-carbon (diesel) fuel. Transportation also contributes almost half of emissions, largely from the use of local boats and road vehicles.  Together, waste and IPPU emissions account for around 11% of total emissions. Waste emissions largely come from landfill.

How have our emissions changed over time?

The bar chart above shows the change in emissions by sector over the last few years for comparison.

Gibraltar’s total ‘Manageable’ emissions have decreased by 28% since 2015 and by 23% between 2019 and 2020. The most significant reductions between 2019-2020 were from Aviation (-55%), Road Transport (-51%), Stationary Energy (-13%) and Waste (-12%). ‘Other Scope 3’ emissions, not included in the manageable inventory but reported for information, also declined (-10%). However, IPPU (Industrial Processes and Product Use) sector emissions increased (+1%), although this reflects trends in UK data used as a proxy for Gibraltar’s emissions from product use (e.g. air conditioning and refrigeration). It is important to note that many of the large emissions reductions seen between 2019 and 2020 are likely to be artefacts of the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. due to travel restrictions).

Over the last 6 years, from 2015 to 2020, Gibraltar has achieved the following:

  • Decreased Electricity emissions by 35% between 2015 and 2020 and by 13% from 2019-2020. This is due to the introduction of natural gas (rather than gas oil only) as a fuel for North Mole Power Station. Electricity generation/consumption has remained fairly static.
  • Decreased emissions from waste by 9% between 2015 and 2020 and by 12% from 2019-2020. This is due to decreases in the amount of waste being produced in Gibraltar).
  • Decreased Other Scope 3 emissions by 30% from 2015 to 2020, and 10% from 2019-2020. This includes emissions from out-of-scope shipping traffic (e.g. bunkering) and out-of-scope fuel use by non-Gibraltarian vehicles.
  • Decreased Transport emissions (excluding scope 3 shipping) by 24% between 2015 and 2020, and by 33% from 2019-2020. This is largely due to decreased activity resulting from travel restrictions under the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in decreases in road transport, aviation, and marine transport. The 2021 inventory will begin to reveal the extent of the emissions rebound (if any).

However, challenges remain, including:

  • Emissions from Electricity Generation have decreased significantly since the introduction of natural gas at North Mole Power station, but the power station does still run completely on fossil fuels (with a significant proportion of this still gas oil). Further action is needed to meet Gibraltar’s renewable energy targets, as stated in the Climate Change Strategy.
  • Emissions reductions observed in the Transport sector are largely a result of lockdowns and travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Transport emissions still account for almost half of Gibraltar’s total ‘manageable’ emissions. Further action is needed in this sector to keep Gibraltar on track to meet its emission reduction targets.

A long term plot of total emission trends from 1990 to present, and projections to 2045 is shown here,  alongside the actions Government is taking.

How are emissions calculated?

There are a number of key data sets that are used to compile Gibraltar’s GHG inventory coming from data providers such as Gibraltar Electricity Authority, AquaGib, the Port Authority, various Government departments, as well as from specific sites such as the hospital, the airport and hotels. Data provided largely consists of ‘activity data’ (e.g. amount of electricity or volume of fuel consumed). Generally, ‘activity data’ is multiplied by an ‘emission factor’ to estimate the quantity of GHG emissions from a particular source or activity.

Prior to 2015, the inventory was compiled to support UK national reporting (for more information see https://naei.beis.gov.uk/). A substantial revision to the compilation was made in 2015 when, in addition to the original methodology for national reporting, a new city-scale inventory was developed as a better tool to drive Government decision making and planning. This improved methodology uses improved activity data and provides more policy-relevant detail, allowing Government to better understand its impacts and to develop and track emission reduction measures. From 2015, the city inventory is calculated and reported in accordance with the Global Protocol for Cities (GPC) and the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM), a global cooperative effort among mayors and city officials to reduce GHG emissions, track progress, and prepare for the impacts of climate change.

The full methodology for the Gibraltar City Inventory can be found in the technical reports available below.