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Global warming: 80 million fewer jobs

Global warming: 80 million fewer jobs


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The rise in world temperatures will also lead to serious consequences from an economic point of view. Global warming will in fact translate into thermal stress that will cause a loss of 2.4 trillion dollars and 80 million jobs by 2030.

This is supported by the relationship Working on a warmer planet ofOrganization of work, a United Nations body. According to the document, the impact of thermal stress on the working productivity represents a serious repercussion of the climate change currently underway, destined to become habitual.

The projections are based on a global temperature increase of 1.5 degrees, suggesting that in a similar context, a loss of hours worked worldwide of 2.2% will be produced by 2030.

Thermal stress and work

Generally it thermal stress it takes place when temperatures are above 35 ° C and conditions of high humidity occur. Excessive heat in the workplace creates various health risks, limiting the worker's functions, reflexes and physical abilities. All this is reflected in a reduction in productivity, in a greater propensity to make mistakes and in a growing probability of incurring injuries. In extreme cases, heatstroke can occur which can even be fatal.

Thermal stress affects workers in all sectors, but some professions appear to be particularly at risk because they involve greater physical effort or take place outside. Usually, these conditions occur in areas such as agriculture, natural resource management, construction, waste collection, transport, tourism and sport. The workers who work inside factories and workshops, on the other hand, often find themselves living with microclimates which they do not respect health parameters correct. With temperatures at the highest levels, it is also difficult to carry out simple office tasks.

From the report ofUN it emerges that the repercussions will be distributed in a different way among the various countries. The areas most affected will be South Asia and West Africa, with one loss of approximately 43.9 million jobs by 2030. In these areas, the professional damage resulting from thermal stress will therefore join the already existing economic disadvantages.

The sector most affected by the phenomenon will probably be theagriculture which, worldwide, employs 940 million people. It is estimated that in this context, thermal stress could cause the loss of a quantity of working hours equal to as much as 60%. Another particularly involved sector will be construction, with losses that will presumably be around 19%.

The proposed solutions

The proliferation of the so-called "Islands of heat", or city areas where heat concentrations are found due to population growth and urbanization, will further intensify the impact of heat waves, aggravating the risks for workers. According to UN experts, to effectively combat global warming, the world of work should promote the following initiatives:

  • Support adaptation policies and protective measures for workers;
  • Pursue a general approach to mitigate climate change and curb the rise in temperatures;
  • To conduct structural reforms to help farmers make the transition to other sectors;
  • Implement measures to anticipate climate risks;
  • Take an approach consistent with the sustainable economic development.


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