As climate change worsens, growing heat stress on workers in agriculture and other sectors will cause a productivity loss equal to 80 million full-time jobs over the next decade, the UN warned recently.
A report from the International Labor Organization estimated that in 2030, 2.2 percent of total working hours worldwide will be lost because of higher temperatures.
The percentage is expected to be more than double that in the hardest-hit regions, western Africa and southern Asia, according to the report “Working on a warmer planet: The impact of heat stress on labor productivity”.
This represents an economic losses totaling 1.4 percent of global gross domestic product, or $2.4 trillion (2.1 trillion euros), ILO said.
“This is roughly equivalent to the size of the United Kingdom economy,” Catherine Saget, a co-author of the report, told reporters.
The UN labor body stressed that this is “a conservative estimate”, since it is based on assumptions that warming will be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.
Current estimates suggest that the planet could see warming double that amount.