Working on a Warmer Planet: ILO Report.

Working on a Warmer Planet: ILO Report.

July 5, 2019.

“Working on a Warmer Planet – The Impact of Heat Stress on Labour Productivity and Decent Work, India is the most affected country in the World by global warming” a recent report by International Labour Organization (ILO). The Earth is the lonely planet in our solar system where life exists. Many saints and experts also called the Earth our mother nature. But unfortunately, the man did many illegal activities against the mother nature like cutting of trees, misuse of water resources, pollution, unnecessary use of pesticides in the agricultural sector, etc. Due to this, the planet Earth is suffering from global warming.

The most affected areas

Southern Asian countries are the most affected by global warming in Asia and the Pacific region and by 2030, the impact of global warming on labour productivity would be increased. In particular, up to 5.3 percent of total working hours (the equivalent of 43 million full-time jobs) are expected to be lost, with two-thirds of Southern Asian countries facing losses of at least two percent.

In a dangerous warning, the report said that India is the most affected country by global warming. 4.3 percent of working hours have lost in 1995 and is expected to lose 5.8 percent of working hours in 2030. India has a large population and due to this, it is expected to lose near about 34 million jobs in 2030 as a result of global warming.

It said, “Although most of the impact in India will be felt in the agricultural sector, more and more working hours are expected to be lost in the construction sector, where heat stress affects both male and female workers.” A report by the UN labour agency said that it will particularly impact the agriculture and construction sectors.

The report by ILO

The International Labour Organisation (ILO) released its report ‘Working on a Warmer Planet: The Impact of heat stress on Labour Productivity and Decent Work’, which said that by 2030, more than two percent of total working hours in the World are expected to be lost every year, either because it is too hot to work or because workers have to work at a slower pace.

The report said, “Projections based on a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees C by the end of the 21st century, and also on labour force trends, suggest that, in 2030, 2.2 percent of total working hours worldwide will be lost to high temperatures, a productivity loss equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs.”

The accumulated global financial loss is expected to reach USD 2,400 billion by 2030 due to heat stress. The report said, “If nothing is done now to mitigate climate change, these costs will be much higher as global temperatures increase even further towards the end of the century.”

Increase in Inequality

It is expected that GDP losses will be substantial on national-level in 2030 and, Countries like Thailand, Cambodia, India, and Pakistan will suffer reductions in GDP of more than five percent due to heat stress. The UN agency said that heat stress mostly affects outdoor workers such as farmers engaged in agriculture and workers on construction sites. They would suffer from occupational health risk due to excess heat at work and in extreme cases could result in heatstroke, which could be dangerous.

Catherine Saget, Chief of Unit in the ILO’s Research department and one of the main authors of the report, said, “The impact of heat stress on labour productivity is a serious consequence of climate change.” “We can expect to see more inequality between low and high-income countries and worsening working conditions for the most vulnerable.”

Heat Stress affect Farmers and Construction workers on a high rate

According to the ILO data, near about 940 million people are active in the agriculture sector in the world. Rising temperatures will hit farmers at worst and this indicates that the sector will be responsible for 61 percent of global working hours lost from heat stress, by 2030.

ILO also said that workers indulged in the construction process will also be “severely impacted”. This impact will lead to 18.9 percent of global working hours lost at the end of the next decade. Refusing collection, emergency services, transport, tourism, and sports are some other sectors which would also suffer from heat stress.

In Southern Asia and South-East Asia, a labour market challenge pertains to the high rates of informality in the region. Most of the workers in India, Bangladesh, Cambodia, and Nepal work informally. Whether informality prevailed on a high rate in the agricultural sector, but informality also exists in other sectors like including construction, wholesale and retail trade, food service, and accommodation industries.

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