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Tue 2 Jul 2019 09:51 AM

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Global economy could lose $2.4 trillion due to surging heat - UN report

UN's International Labour Organization warning comes amidst record-breaking temperatures in the Gulf

Global economy could lose $2.4 trillion due to surging heat - UN report
With temperatures soaring around the globe, increases in heat stroke will have an impact on global productivity and economic losses, notably in agriculture and construction, UN labour experts said this week.

With Kuwait and Saudi Arabia experiencing record-breaking temperatures this summer, United Nations experts have warned that the increased temperatures could cost the global economy as much as $2.4 trillion this year in lost productivity.

Kuwait last month reportedly recorded the highest temperatures in the world, surging to 63 degrees Celsius under direct sunlight. Local Arabic newspaper Al Rai also reported that a worker had died of heatstroke and overexposure to the sun.

Similarly, temperatures in Saudi Arabia were reaching the high 50s degree Celsius last month.

In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, weather forecasts have predicted temperatures in the UAE of between 42 and 47 degrees Celsius this week.

With temperatures soaring around the globe, increases in heat stroke will have an impact on global productivity and economic losses, notably in agriculture and construction, UN labour experts said this week, according to a report by the WAM state news agency.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) said the poorest countries, particularly in West Africa and South-East Asia, would be hit hardest.

The ILO put the global cost this year to the economy from a loss of productivity at around $2.4 trillion, each year, based on a global temperature rise of only 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century.

"The impact of heat stress on labour productivity is a serious consequence of climate change," Catherine Saget, Chief of Unit in the ILO’s Research department, was quoted as saying.

The ILO report said high risk of heat stroke was possible in temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius and in locations where there is high humidity.

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