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Look at Consumption When Assigning Blame for Global Warming, Study Says

global warming
The sun is seen through evening air pollution in Bangkok, Thailand, Feb. 8, 2018. VOA

Wealthy cities are responsible for a huge share of greenhouse-gas emissions when calculations include goods they consume from developing countries, researchers said on Tuesday, challenging traditional estimates that put blame on manufacturing nations.

Looking at emissions based on consumption, affluent cities, mostly in North America and Europe, emit 60 percent more greenhouse gases than they do use traditional calculations, researchers said at a United Nations-backed climate summit.

Calculating emissions of greenhouse gases, which are blamed for global warming, traditionally looks at where goods such as cellular phones or plastic cups are produced, they said.

global warming
Cities account for an estimated 75 percent of carbon emissions, according to U.N. figures used at the summit. Pixabay

ALSO READ: Simpler route to global warming management being missed

But consumption-based emissions presents a fuller picture by attributing emissions to the consumers rather than the manufacturers, said Mark Watts, head of C40, an alliance of more than 90 global cities.

The newer method of calculation puts the responsibility on richer consumers and “increases the scope of things that policymakers in cities can address to reduce emissions,” Watts said.

Big cities, big problem

The estimate by C40 comes amid concern that national governments are not on track to meet the pledges they made in 2015 in Paris to reduce greenhouse gases and curb climate change.

ALSO READ: A rise in 2 degrees Celsius in global warming could cause droughts

Traditional calculations put manufacturing countries such as China and India amid the lead emitters of greenhouse gases.

Using consumption-based calculations, emissions in 15 affluent cities were three times more than they were with traditional figuring, the researchers said.

global warming
Forbidden City and other buildings are seen amid smog ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing, Feb. 13, 2018. VOA

ALSO READ: Global warming to continue for thousands of years

Using consumption-based emissions is “revolutionary” although still “on the periphery,” said Debra Roberts, a co-chairwoman on the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“But … these are ideas whose time is probably almost imminent,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation on the sidelines of the Edmonton summit.

The researchers used trade and household data from 79 cities that are members of C40.

Some 750 climate scientists and city planners from 80 countries are gathered in the western Canadian city to help chart a global roadmap for cities to battle climate change. (VOA)

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Britain urges people to reduce calories intake to 1600 a day

Maintain the level of calories to 1600 a day by eating the right amount of portion of the healthy foods
Britain urges people to reduce calories intake to 1600 a day. wikimedia commons

London, Dec 28, 2017: In a bid to cut down obesity, men and women living in Britain are being urged to reduce their intake of calories to just 1,600 a day, according to new health guidelines.

The suggestions from Public Health England (PHE) — a government agency for preventing ill health — include 400 calories for breakfast, 600 for lunch and 600 for dinner and this does not include drinks, the Daily Mail reported. For those who follow this, 200 calories in form of snacks can be taken.

The new amount is below the current recommended daily intake of 2,000 calories for women and 2,500 for men.

The new calorie guidelines — the One You nutrition campaign — will be rolled out by PHE in March, and adults will be told to remember the “400-600-600” rule.

Officials are also in talks with coffee shop chains and supermarkets to promote healthy breakfast and lunch options within the limit.

“We can no longer hide behind the charade that having a takeaway or eating out is merely a treat. Adults consume 200 to 300 excess calories each day and this calorie creep is contributing to weight gain and other serious health conditions,” a PHE spokesman was quoted telling the Daily Mail.

“This is why we’re working with high street chains to offer healthier options through our reduction programmes and new One You nutritional campaign,” the spokesman added.

Obesity rates for British men and women are at 27% — the highest in any country in western Europe.

An average adult is overeating by 300 calories a day, and this so-called “calorie-creep” is leading to a steady weight gain, officials said.

The guidelines “is a panic measure to get the public to understand they are eating too much”, Tam Fry, of the National Obesity Forum, was quoted as telling the Daily Mail.

“Portion sizes are getting bigger and bigger and people are mindlessly eating them just because they are there. The idea is sound because we are eating too much, but my feeling is the thresholds are too low,” Fry added.

However, the guidelines are merely a “rule of thumb” rather than strict limits, the government agency said.

Experts, on the other hand, have criticised the move. The calorie guidelines are “not based on evidence and are essentially a lie designed to manipulate people into eating less”, said Christopher Snowdon from the Institute of Economic Affairs think-tank. (IANS)