Climate change could make it too hot to work

One way to increase productivity is to address climate change.

Rising temperatures caused by climate change may cost the world economy $2 trillion in lost productivity by 2030 as hot weather makes it unbearable to work in some parts of the world, according to new U.N. research.

Across the globe, 43 countries will see a fall in their gross domestic product (GDP) due to reduced productivity, the majority of them in Asia — including Indonesia, Malaysia, China, India and Bangladesh — researcher Tord Kjellstrom said.

Indonesia and Thailand could see their GDP reduced by 6 percent in 2030, while in China GDP could be reduced by 0.8 percent and in India by 3.2 percent.

“Current climate conditions in tropical and subtropical parts of the world are already so hot during the hot seasons that occupational health effects occur and work capacity for many people is affected,” said Kjellstrom, a director at the New Zealand-based Health and Environment International Trust.

NASA scientists announced July 19 that global temperatures so far this year were much higher than in the first half of 2015.

Kjellstrom said the increasing need for rest “is likely to become a significant problem” as climate change makes the hottest days hotter and leads to longer periods of excessively hot days.

He authored one of six papers on the impact of climate change on health that were put together by the U.N. University’s International Institute for Global Health in Kuala Lumpur and published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health.

Kjellstrom urges countries to work hard now … and take “decisive action” to tackle global warming.