Rabat – An increase in occupational heat stress due to climate change is expected to have a significant impact on global productivity and economic losses, particularly in agriculture and construction, according to a study from the International Labor Organization (ILO).
The study, entitled “Working on a Warmer Planet” examined the effect a global temperature rise of only 1.5 degrees Celsius will have on the world’s workforce.
The ILO study warns the change will result in a loss of production that amounts to 80 million full-time jobs – or 2.2% of total working hours worldwide by 2030. ILO also estimated that it will cause a total loss of up to $2.4 trillion per year.
“The impact of heat stress on labor productivity is a serious consequence of climate change,” said Catherine Saget, head of the research department at the ILO.
“We can expect to see more inequalities between low and high-income countries, in addition to a deterioration in the working conditions of the most vulnerable,” warns the report.
The study found that West Africa and South-East Asia will be hit hardest by the change.
As for Morocco, the ILO says the lost working hours due to heat stress will amount to 0.39% in agriculture, 0.14% in industry, 0.39% in construction and 0.02% in the services sector.
Overall, the report estimates that the percentage of lost working hours due to heat stress in the Moroccan economy will total 0.16%. The loss equals 19,000 full-time jobs in the entire Moroccan economy by 2030.
Regarding North Africa as a whole, Morocco will be less affected than most of its counterparts, with Sudan losing 5.91% of lost work hours and 852 000 jobs, Egypt losing 0.42% and 134 000 jobs, and Algeria with a loss of 0.19% of working hours and 24,000 jobs.