Carbon cane-print: Americans go green after age 65

It used to be called “retirement”. In the future it will be called “CO2-peak” — as in “When do you plan on peaking your CO2 emissions?”

From the Max Planck Gesellschaft,

New demographic analysis reveals that the CO2 emissions of the average American increase until around the age of 65, and then start to decrease. For the United States this means that, although the ageing of the population will lead to a slight overall rise in CO2 emissions over the next four decades, the long-term trends indicate that increasing life expectancy will result in a reduction in emissions…

As they enter retirement, Americans are producing more carbon dioxide emissions than at any other point in their lives: i.e., around 14.9 metric tons per person annually. Thereafter, the amount produced decreases continuously, falling to 13.1 metric tons by age 80. No data are available for higher ages, but it is expected that emissions fall further. The impact of this age group on climate projections will be significant. This is because, while life expectancy in the U.S. is currently (2010) 78.3 years, it is projected to rise to 83.1 years by 2050, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

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