People over 60 responsible for a third of global emission : The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

study

People over 60 responsible for a third of global emission

People over 60 responsible for a third of global emission

Pic for representational purpose only. iStock



London, March 25

The new generation of seniors, also known as baby boomers born post World War-II, are leaving behind a heavy climate footprint, according to a study.

People over 60 are more likely to spend on houses, energy and food - leading to an increase in production of greenhouse gases which are harmful for both the environment and human health.

In 2005, the above 60 age group accounted for 25 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions and by 2015 the proportion was close to 33 per cent, revealed the study detailed in the journal Nature Climate Change.

While young people under the age of 30 have cut their annual emissions by 3.7 tonnes between 2005 and 2015, the 30-44-year-olds reduced emissions by 2.7 tonnes and the 45-59-year-old group by 2.2 tonnes. But people over the age of 60 have had the smallest decline, only 1.5 tonnes.

"Older people used to be thrifty. The generation that experienced World War-II was careful about how they used resources. The 'new elderly' are different," said Edgar Hertwich, Professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Industrial Ecology Programme.

"The post-war 'baby boomer' generation are the new elderly. They have different consumption patterns than the 'quiet generation' that was born in the period 1928-1945. Today's seniors spend more money on houses, energy consumption and food," Hertwich said.

The team from NTNU conducted a survey of greenhouse gas emissions by age in 2005, 2010 and 2015. They included people over 60 from about 32 countries.

The findings showed that baby boomers in Norway, the UK, the US, Australia are the worst when it comes to their carbon footprint. Particularly the seniors in Japan account for over half of climate emissions.

The research is of concern as the ageing wave is sweeping the world, so as the new elderly attain a larger climate footprint, it's bad news. Thus, the most important message from this research is for politicians to be aware that the ageing population is making it more difficult to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"The consumption habits of seniors are more rigid. For example, it would be an advantage if more people moved to smaller homes once the kids moved out," said Heran Zheng, a postdoctoral fellow at NTNU.

"Hopefully more senior-friendly housing communities, transport systems and infrastructure can be built," he added.

Further, the team found that in comparison with the other age groups, the emissions that the elderly account for tend to be more local. Younger age groups consume more imported goods, clothing, electronics and furniture, goods that lead to emissions in other countries.

"Seniors in developed countries have accumulated value, primarily in housing. A lot of them have seen a large increase in the value of their property. The elderly are able to maintain their high consumption through their wealth," said Zheng.

"This happens especially in carbon-intensive areas like energy. An increasing proportion of this age group live alone. This isn't the case in all countries, but it reflects the overall picture," he added. IANS


Top News

Pune teen driver's father detained after Porsche crash killed 2 IITians on bike

Pune teen driver's father detained after Porsche crash killed 2 IT professionals on bike

The probe in these cases has been transferred to the crime b...

CCTV shows Pune teen speeding his Porsche moments before killing 2 IITians on bike

CCTV shows Pune teen speeding his Porsche moments before killing 2 IT professionals on bike

17-year-old gets quick bail with order to write an essay; co...

Chandigarh Administration announces closure of schools due to rise in temperature

Chandigarh Administration announces closure of schools due to rise in temperature

The Punjab and Haryana government have also announced advanc...

Manish Tewari hits back at Yogi’s ‘udan khatola’ jibe, says what about Kirron Kher, Sanjay Tandon

Manish Tewari hits back at Yogi’s ‘udan khatola’ jibe, says what about BJP's Kirron Kher, Sanjay Tandon

Tewari says the real ‘udan khatola’ is Kirron Kher, who was ...


Cities

View All