The impact of climate change on work: Lessons for developing countries

This research has pinpointed five key areas where climate change may affect work and provides valuable lessons for developing countries.

  • Firstly, certain industries like agriculture and manufacturing may decline, while others could rise, leading to uncertain overall impacts on the demand for labor.
  • Secondly, climate change may affect labor supply through absenteeism and changes in work patterns.
  • Thirdly, productivity may decrease, particularly in industries exposed to heat.
  • Fourthly, self-employed individuals may face greater financial vulnerability due to increased variability in earnings.
  • Fifthly, there may be shifts in where people work and migrate due to climate change.

However, caution is needed as most studies focus on short-term effects and overlook adaptation.

The scarce existing work on adaptation suggests that workplace cooling may not be viable for some businesses, and adaptation strategies for farms and households face obstacles. Government responses are understudied, with six potential areas for action including green jobs, green skills, labor-oriented adaptation, flexible work regulation, labor market integration, and social protection. 

The research outlines directions for future investigation.

Read the research below or download here:

The impact of climate change on work Lessons for developing countries