Singapore’s Economic Losses from Heat Stress Projected to Double by 2035, Highlighting Urgent Need for Adaptation and Mitigation Strategies

Heat stress may lead to more than $1.5 billion in economic losses for Singapore

A recent study by the National University of Singapore has revealed that Singapore’s economic losses due to heat stress are projected to nearly double to $1.64 billion in 2035 from pre-pandemic levels of 2018. The decline in labor productivity across various sectors such as services, construction, manufacturing, and agriculture is attributed to this increase.

In 2018, heat strain had already caused an 11.3% drop in average productivity, and this is expected to worsen in the coming years. Workers who are exposed to adverse environmental conditions such as direct sun exposure or heat from machinery will face significantly higher productivity losses. For every hot day, workers’ productivity during working hours is reduced, leading to a median income loss of S$21 per worker.

Project HeatSafe is the first large-scale study in Singapore and the region aimed at evaluating the impact of rising heat levels on both productivity and health at both individual and macroeconomic levels. The research team used 2018 as the baseline for the study as it was pre-pandemic and was the most recent “normal year” for which data was available.

Singapore is facing faster warming rates compared to global averages, with recent UV index levels reaching “extreme” levels. This intense heat is not unique to Singapore, as scientists have warned about surpassing key warming thresholds globally. The United Nations’ Secretary-General has also raised concerns about moving towards “an era of global boiling” due to increasing temperatures worldwide.

In addition to affecting cognitive and physical abilities, extreme heat exposure poses a risk to Singapore’s already low fertility rates. The NUS research emphasizes the urgent need for adaptation and mitigation strategies to address the challenges posed by rising heat levels and their impact on various aspects of society.

The study highlights that climate change could lead to significant economic losses if appropriate measures are not taken quickly enough.

Accordingly, governments must take action by implementing policies that promote sustainable development practices such as green building design and renewable energy sources.

Furthermore, individuals can also play a role in reducing their carbon footprint by adopting eco-friendly habits like using public transport instead of driving alone or reducing energy consumption at home.

Overall, it is crucial for everyone involved in shaping our future society – policymakers, businesses leaders, and individuals – take immediate action before it’s too late.

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