Remember to clean up after your children's carbon emissions the next time because in a new research, an American statistician has suggested holding parents responsible for their's and their children's greenhouse gas emissions. It doesn't end there - the further descendants must be covered too!
According to a report in New Scientist, the statistician in question is Paul Murtaugh, from Oregon State University in Corvallis, US.
Advertisement"If you have a child, you and you partner are each responsible for half its emissions. If that child has kids, one-quarter of their emissions are down to you, and so on," said Murtaugh.
"How it adds up depends on population trends and emission changes in the future," he added.
Murtaugh used UN population projections, which say that after 2050, birth rates in all countries will be 1.85 children per woman, on an average.
Then, he took three emissions futures: rising business-as-usual emissions, constant emissions, and "save-the-planet" levels that fall to half a tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) per capita per year by 2100.
With rising future emissions, each extra child in the US would eventually result in eight times the lifetime carbon footprint of the average US resident today.
Even with constant per-capita emissions, it's nearly six times - or nearly 10,000 tonnes of CO2.
In the shrinking-emissions scenario, the US legacy per child would only be about 500 tonnes, roughly one-third of current lifetime emissions.