You are here: Home » Current Affairs » News » National
Business Standard

India loses 259 billion labour hours annually due to heat: Study

India currently loses around 259 billion hours annually due to the impacts of humidity and heat on labour, more than double previous estimates of 110 billion hours, says a study by Duke University

Topics
labour market

IANS  |  New Delhi 

Summer, heat, heatwave

Some countries are especially badly hit by heat-related labour losses. For example, India currently loses around 259 billion hours annually due to the impacts of humidity and heat on labour, more than double previous estimates of 110 billion hours, says a study by Duke University.

Published in the journal Environmental Research Letters on Thursday, the study says that humidity and heat currently causes 677 billion hours of lost labour worth $2.1 trillion annually, and human-caused climate change is worsening these losses.

With 3.3 billion workers globally, it works out around 205 lost hours per person per year.

Heat, especially when combined with humidity, can slow people down when they're performing heavy work such as in agriculture or construction. As the climate heats up further due to greenhouse gas emissions, every fraction of a degree of warming is causing more work time to be lost for heat-related reasons.

Over the last four decades, heat-related labour losses have increased by at least nine per cent (>60 billion hours annually) as global average temperatures rose about 0.4 degree Celsius because of human activities.

This new estimate of work lost to heat and humidity is about 400 billion hours greater than other widely-used estimates -- roughly the same as the amount of work lost during the Covid-19 pandemic -- due to the inclusion of more up-to-date data on how heat and humidity affect humans doing heavy work.

The new data found that labour productivity can be slowed down at lower heat and humidity levels than previously assumed.

India currently loses around 259 billion hours annually due to the impacts of humid heat on labour and worth an estimated Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) $624 billion.

The US loses PPP $98 billion of labour per year. Without rapid emissions cuts, climate change is set to further increase losses in already hot countries, and historically cooler countries will start to see more significant labour losses.

It is followed by China which loses 72 billion hours, up from an estimate of 24 billion; Bangladesh loses 32 billion hours, up from an estimated 15 billion; Indonesia loses 36 billion, whereas the previous estimate was 11 billion, and Vietnam loses 19 billion, up from an estimate of 8 billion.

In terms of changes, in the first 20 years of this century, India lost 25 billion more hours annually compared to the previous 20 years, China lost four billion extra hours per year, Bangladesh three billion, Indonesia two billion and Vietnam two billion.

--IANS

vg/svn/dpb

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Thu, January 13 2022. 14:15 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU
.