Climate change will lead to a 2.2 percent loss of hours worked worldwide in 11 years. That is equivalent to 80 million full-time jobs. This mainly involves work in the open air, such as construction and agriculture, and garbage collection. This is according to a study by the International Labor Organization ILO.

Catherine Saget, one of the report's writers, warns: "In addition to huge economic losses, we can expect more inequality and worse working conditions for the most vulnerable." Saget also expects global migration to increase due to rising temperatures.

Heat stress

People become less productive at high temperatures and it can even be dangerous to work. This is called heat stress. In 1995, the economic loss due to heat stress was estimated at € 250 billion. According to the ILO, this will be 2100 billion by 2030.

The report comes just after the hottest June ever measured in the Netherlands. Germany, Poland and France also booked a heat record. In France it was 45.8 degrees, the highest temperature ever recorded in France. Yesterday, UN chief Guterres urged action again with the message that the last four years have been the hottest ever recorded.

Conservative estimate

The report assumes that on Earth at the end of the century it is 1.5 degrees warmer. The 2015 Paris climate agreement is based on 2 degrees.

Just like in a UN report last week, the ILO concludes that the poorest regions will suffer the most from the temperature rise. West Africa and South Asia are specifically mentioned. Because lower incomes do not have the means to arm themselves against the heat, they are hit hardest.

More migration

Catherine Saget expects more migration because people will try to escape the heat. Between 2005 and 2015, more heat stress was already associated with more migration.

Higher temperatures affect all sectors, but agriculture in particular will be hit hard. This will lead to higher food prices, which in turn will lead to poverty and food insecurity. The ILO expects to attract residents from the countryside to the cities or other countries.

Governments, employers and employees work together

The ILO encourages governments, employers and employees to work together. "Measures by governments, employers and employees to deal with this new reality are urgently needed," says Saget.

For example, there should be better heat warning and governments should ensure that labor rules are observed. Employers must also teach their staff how to deal with heat at work.

The ILO warns that if no more is done to tackle climate change, the impact of heat stress on work will become much greater.

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