According to the ILO, heat stress at work will cost 350,000 jobs by 2030 in the southern neighborhood

July 5th 2019

Global warming is expected to increase heat stress (*) at work, affecting productivity and causing economic and job losses, says the International Labor Organization (ILO) report "Working on a warmer planet: The impact of heat stress on labour productivity and decent work ", published on July 01st.

Projections based on a global temperature increase of 1.5 ° C by the end of this century predict that by 2030, 2.2 per cent of the world's total hours worked would be lost $ 2.4 trillion in economic losses, equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs. In addition, this report is based on a conservative estimate that the increase in global average temperature will not exceed 1.5 ° C and that works in the two most affected sectors, agriculture and construction, will be the shadow. Other sectors particularly at risk are environmental goods and services, garbage collection, emergency services, repair work, transportation, tourism, sports and some types of industrial work.

For the southern neighborhood, by 2030 the ILO forecasts productivity and employment equivalent losses at some 350,000 full-time jobs (Algeria: 0.19 per cent - 24,000 jobs, Egypt: 0.42 per cent - 134,000 jobs, Israel: 0.18 percent - 9,000 jobs, Jordan: 0.7 percent - 87,900 jobs, Lebanon: 0.1 percent - 2,300 jobs, Libya: 0.25 percent - 6,000 jobs, Morocco: 0 , 16 percent - 19,000 jobs, Palestine: 0.5 percent - 7,400 jobs, Syria: 0.7 percent - 53,300 jobs (More widely in the region, Sudan would be the most affected country with 5.91 percent loss of productivity, equivalent to 852,000 jobs).

In the world, the most affected regions will be South Asia and West Africa. People living in the most deprived areas will suffer the greatest economic losses, as low-income and lower-middle-income countries have fewer resources available to adapt effectively to global warming. The economic losses associated with heat stress will thus combine with existing economic handicaps, in particular the high rates of working poor, informal and vulnerable employment, subsistence farming, and the lack of social protection. According to the ILO, as a result of global warming, inequalities will increase between high- and low-income countries, working conditions will deteriorate for the most vulnerable, and population movements will increase.

The ILO calls on governments, employers and workers urgently to take the appropriate measures, giving priority to the protection of the most vulnerable. The ILO emphasizes the essential role of social dialogue in making the necessary adjustments.

(*) Thermal stress refers to a heat greater than the body can tolerate without suffering physiological damage (more than 35 ° C, with high humidity).