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Soaring Temperatures Will Make It Too Hot to Work, UN WarnsJessica Shankleman
Bloomberg, July 18, 2016
Searing temperatures caused by climate change may cost global economies more than $2 trillion by 2030, restricting working hours in some of the poorest parts of the world, according to United Nations research.
As many as 43 countries, especially those in Asia, including China, Indonesia, and Malaysia, will experience declines in their economies because of heat stress, says Tord Kjellstrom, a director at the Health and Environment International Trust, based in Nelson, New Zealand. As a result, China’s gross domestic product would be reduced 1 percent and Indonesia’s by 6 percent by 2030.
Extreme heat in Southeast Asia already curbs annual working hours by 15 to 20 percent, and that figure could double by 2050 as climate change progresses, according to the paper published in Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health on Tuesday.
The study was one of six papers published by the UN university in Kuala Lumpur detailing the impact of climate change on human health. From 1980 to 2012, it said about 2.1 million people worldwide died as a direct result of almost 21,000 natural catastrophes such as floods, mudslides, extreme heat, drought, high winds or fires. The cost of those disasters exceeded $4 trillion, a sum comparable to the current GDP of Germany.