Friday, April 29, 2016

Rising Heat at Work Is Major New Climate Threat:  U.N.

Death Valley Extreme Heat (Credit: Graeme Maclean (Flickr); Licence: CC by 2.0) Click to Enlarge.
Searing temperatures will cost emerging economies up to 10 percent in lost daytime working hours, if countries do not cut planet-warming emissions further than they have promised so far, U.N. agencies and international labor bodies said on Thursday.

Global temperatures are predicted to rise by at least 2.7 degrees Celsius if emissions-reduction pledges made by nearly 190 nations for the new global climate change deal are met.

The Paris agreement, however, sets a goal of keeping average temperature rise to "well below" 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial times.

If the world continues with its current level of emissions, the impact on working hours - and lost GDP - is likely to be even worse, according to a joint report by the U.N. Development Programme, International Labour Organization, Climate Vulnerable Forum and other agencies.

"Excessive heat puts exposed working populations at greater risk from heat-induced stresses and undermines growth by compromising productivity," Cecilia Rebong, ambassador and permanent representative of the Philippines to the United Nations, said in a statement.

"Vulnerable groups need significant support to tackle rising heat in the workplace," Rebong added.

Countries likely to be worst affected by rising temperatures include India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Cambodia, Pakistan, Burkina Faso and parts of West Africa, the report said.

India is in the grip of an early-summer heat wave that has killed more than 100 people, forced schools to close and halted outdoor work like construction, government officials said last week. Temperatures have risen above 40 degrees Celsius in some states.
In West Africa, the number of very hot days per year has doubled since the 1960s, with an extra 10 hot days every decade, the report said.

Read more at Rising Heat at Work Is Major New Climate Threat:  U.N.

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