Impact of Rising CO2 emissions on labour productivity

News: According to a study published in the journal Nature, extreme heat days caused by the rising carbon dioxide (CO2) level in the atmosphere will affect labour productivity and economic growth, particularly in several developing countries.


Key Takeaways:

  • Outdoor jobs in tropical areas such as Southeast Asia, north-central Africa and northern South America are likely to turn more dangerous with the increase in temperatures caused by climate change.
  • Agriculture, mining and quarrying, manufacturing and construction — sectors which account for 73% of output in poor countries’ are most vulnerable
  • For each trillion tonnes of CO2 emissions, gross domestic product (GDP) losses could be nearly half a per cent.
  • The developed countries such as Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United Kingdom will have less than 0.1% of productivity loss per unit emission.
  • However, productivity losses in developing countries like India, Gabon, Thailand and Malaysia will range from 3-5% of total GDP per year for every trillion tonne of carbon emitted.

Additional Information:

Working on a Warmer Planet

  • The International Labour Organization (ILO) released a report titled ‘working on a Warmer Planet: The Impact of Heat Stress on Labour Productivity and Decent Work’.
  • It highlighted how heat stress will impact labour productivity (measured in terms of working hours) and lead to economic losses.
  • The report projected that in 2030, 2.2% of total working hours worldwide will be lost due to high temperatures. This is equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs.
  • The global financial loss due to heat stress is expected to reach USD 2,400 billion by 2030.