What is the impact of global warming on productivity at work?

What is the impact of global warming on productivity at work?


A recent study has quantified the impact of global warming on the future productivity of outdoor work, and low-income countries will be the hardest hit.

The global warming of temperatures, of anthropic origin, transforms the face of our planet. There are well-known consequences such as melting glaciers and rising sea levels. Or there is the increase of extreme weather events, such as droughts, hurricanes or heavy rainfall. But there are also less obvious consequences. Like the decline in labor productivity.

Significant losses
Yann Chavaillaz and Damon Matthews, climate experts at Concordia University, have recently attempted to quantify this impact. To do this, they relied on the widely used heat-exposure rest time recommendations around the world. They then linked this data to climate projection models.

The researchers then calculated that each trillion tonnes of CO 2 emitted could result in an overall GDP loss of about 0.5%. According to these calculations, our C02 emissions since the industrial revolution may have already led to economic losses of up to 2% of world GDP.

Some sectors are and will obviously be more concerned than others. The most affected are farmers, employees working in the field of extractive industries or those working in the construction trades.

Low-income countries most affected
These sectors, on the other hand, account for about 75% of the output of low-income countries, which are and will be the countries hardest hit by rising temperatures. It is also these countries that will be the least able to put in place measures to adapt to global warming. As the construction of new shelters (shaded areas) and structures allowing the renewal of the air. Or access to several liters of water per person.

We can see that every extra tonne of CO 2 we produce will have an extra impact, and we can quantify that increase, the researchers say. This study can therefore help us to identify specific countries that are suffering a quantifiable share of the economic damage resulting from the emissions we produce .

They cite South-East Asia, north-central Africa and northern South America as potential examples of productivity losses nine times higher than those in high-income countries. .