Older people have higher carbon dioxide emissions, says a Max Planck institute study. This means that even environmentally-conscious baby-boomers have higher emissions than younger generations.
A striking study conducted back in 2011 by Emilio Zagheni , a demographer working at the Max Planck Institute in Germany, showed that as people get older, they become responsible for much higher amounts of carbon dioxide emissions.
The scientist used data covering nine different energy-intensive categories of activities, from electricity and gas use to air travel.
What he established was that the longer people live, the more electricity they use and the more they drive. In addition, because they had higher income, people in their middle age were more likely to travel and therefore to have a much higher carbon footprint.
However, the big controversy here comes from the fact that generally older people tend to spend more money on activities that produce much less emissions, such as spending hours in front of the doctor’s office, for example. In this sense, a study conducted by the ‘boomer-bashers’ suggests that carbon emissions might go down, as the overall age in the U.S goes up.
Pew Research studies show that people in their middle age are much more aware of environmental issues and are much more open to progress than the older generations. They are willing to support renewable energy technologies or to spend more on mass transit and tax incentives for hybrid cars. And last but not least, this age group is much more aware that climate is changing.