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The Natural Resources Defense Council published a report in July that details the ways in which climate change is already making existing workplace hazards worse and also creating new ones. Moreover, the situation will only get worse as temperatures rise and the weather becomes more extreme. In fact, as we have seen during the pandemic, essential workers on farms, in construction, and first-responders are increasingly vulnerable to heat-related illnesses and deaths. Indoor workers are also vulnerable to climate change — particularly teachers, janitors, and other people who spend time in older or poorly maintained buildings. And there are also secondary impacts on workers, such as when climate events reduce the take-home pay of lower-wage workers, it is then harder to for them to afford food and health care.
Why This Matters: There is still so much we don’t know about the health impacts of climate change. According to NRDC, much more research is needed the effects of climate change, including exposure to wildfire smoke, impact occupational health and safety. But we know that we need to improve our workplace health and safety laws to protect the most impacted workers from climate impacts we are seeing already. We could start by collecting more information on existing and emerging health and safety threats to vulnerable workers.
Yesterday at the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to achieve “carbon neutrality before 2060” with the aim of hitting peak emissions before 2030. China had choice words for the Trump administration and its complete lack of international leadership on climate change action. Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang […]
The world’s richest one percent cause more than double the CO2 of the poorest 50% according to a new study from Oxfam. From 1990 to 2015, CO2 emissions rose by 60%; experts saw the wealthiest one percent’s emissions rise three times more than those of the poorest half during that period.
Why this matters: While the wealthiest indulge in luxuries that contribute more to climate change, a federal report found that the poor will be among the earliest victims of climate crises and will be impacted the most.
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