The International Labour Organisation (ILO) released a report that showed how jobs in India are going to be impacted adversely.
- As per the report, ‘Working on a warmer planet: The impact of heat stress on labour productivity and decent work’, 34 million jobs will be lost by the year 2030 due to heat associated with global warming.
- It projects that the global loss in jobs would be 80-million making India the worst affected country.
- As per the report, heat stress is the heat that is in excess of what the body can tolerate but do not cause any bodily impairment.
- Generally, temperatures in excess of 35-degrees and high humidity conditions cause heat stress.
- During work, this excess heat causes an occupational health risk and impairs a worker’s capacity to work to his full capacity and restricts normal physical functions and capabilities.
- The projections in the report are based on a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees centigrade by the end of the century and labour force trends.
- Based on this, the report projects that 2.2 percent of total working hours will be lost worldwide in 2030.
- This amounts to an economic loss of $2,400 billion.
- South Asia will lose the most working hours at 5% in 2030 leading to a loss of 43 million jobs in the region.
- Of this, 34 million will be from India alone.
- India has lost 4.3% of work hours in 1995, which is projected to increase to 5.8% in 2030.
- The impact is majorly on the agriculture and construction sectors.
- Both the agriculture and construction sectors will lose 9.04% working hours each.
- The projected losses for the manufacturing sector is 5.29% and services sector will lose the least at 1.48%.
- Though agriculture and construction sectors are projected to have similar losses, it is the construction sector that will face more losses.
- Experts say that there are two reasons for this. First is the impact of heat in the agriculture sector on labours and the water depletion that is causing many to migrate to cities for work and they are ending up as construction labourers.
- As per ILO, 940 million people work in the agriculture sector which will account for 60% of working hour losses by 2030 due to heat stress.
- The construction sector will lose 19% worldwide.
- Experts also say that heat stress will further lead to high inequality within the societies and between low-income and high-income countries.
The report shows that the economic impact of global warming on India is huge. The burden is especially high on the lower income segment. Government, employers, and workers must take urgent and appropriate measures in protecting the most vulnerable sections from the reality of heat stress.