July 19, 2022

Europe struggles with extreme heat; UK to host a “drone superhighway”

Europe struggles with extreme heat; UK to host a “drone superhighway”

Today’s global news summary brings news affecting Europe, the UK, and Mexico and the US, and discusses issues as diverse as the climate emergency, drones, and border enforcement.  

Europe struggles with extreme heat
Parts of western Europe are struggling under extreme heat, wildfires blaze in France and Spain, Portugal is experiencing drought, and the UK is due to experience its hottest day on record on Tuesday, reports CNN. Spain’s Carlos III Health Institute has estimated a cumulative total of more than 510 heatwave-related deaths in the country. Hundreds have also died in Portugal. Portugal's Health Ministry said 659 mainly elderly people had died in the week leading up to Saturday. The EU Commission has warned that nearly half of Europe’s territory is “at risk” of drought, including the UK. Water supply may be compromised. Oxford University Professor Myles Allen says that sweeping change across the energy industry is required to tackle the trend toward hotter temperatures. He says, individual companies are unlikely to change their business models unilaterally, the industry as a whole needs regulation.

“New or stricter environmental regulations that affect labor markets should include job training, income support, and labor market reintegration programs for workers displaced by the regulations” writes Olivier Deschenes for IZA World of Labor. 

Related content
IZA World of Labor articles

Environmental regulations and labor markets
Employment effects of green energy policies
Impacts of regulation on eco-innovation and job creation

Key topics
Environmental regulation and the labor market

How will climate change affect what we do?
Environmental regulations and business decisions
Green energy and jobs

IZA World of Labor panel discussion on environment and health
Panel discussion on air pollution and human development

IZA Discussion Papers
Why Do Relatively Few Economists Work on Climate Change? A Survey
Fighting Climate Change: The Role of Norms, Preferences, and Moral Values

UK to host a “drone superhighway” 
Labor markets and institutions
Techradar reports that the UK government is planning to construct a 164-mile drone “superhighway.” The move could dramatically affect the logistics and delivery industries. “Skyway,” set to be completed within two years, aims to connect British towns like Reading, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Coventry, and Rugby. The consortium behind the project says the highway will remove the requirement for a human pilot "by enabling any drone manufacturer to connect a drone’s guidance and communication systems to a virtual superhighway system which takes care of guiding drones safely through ‘corridors,’ onward to their destinations, using only a software integration." The announcement is part of a £273m government funding package for the aerospace sector announced by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. Other technologies earmarked for investment include solar-powered aircraft, flying taxis, and drones delivering medical supplies.

IZA World of Labor author Richard B. Freeman tells us that, “As companies substitute machines and computers for human activity, workers need to own part of the capital stock that substitutes for them to benefit from these new “robot” technologies.”

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IZA World of Labor articles
Financing high-potential entrepreneurship
Knowledge spillovers and future jobs
Innovation and employment
Who owns the robots rules the world
How is new technology changing job design?

Key topics
Entrepreneurship, jobs, and economic growth
Digital transformation, big data, and the future of work

How can knowledge and new ideas be turned into jobs?

Automation and the future of jobs: Stijn Broecke in conversation with Daniel S Hamermesh

IZA Discussion Papers
The Impact of Robots on Labour Market Transitions in Europe
Robots and the Origin of Their Labour-Saving Impact

Mexico to spend $1.5bn on modernizing US border
Migration and ethnicity
As reported by the BBC, Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador says his government will spend $1.5bn (£1.26bn) on modernizing his country’s border with the US. López Obrador and US President Joe Biden announced a “bold programme” to deal with the record number of migrants crossing the border between the two countries and also to fight drug trafficking. President Biden thanked the Mexican president for offering migrants from Central America temporary work visas, as a proven strategy for fuelling economic growth and reducing irregular migration. President López Obrador also called on the US president to allow more migrant workers to enter the US, in order to give certainty to migrants who have lived and worked honestly in the US.

“[Border e]nforcement can be more effective and increase the net economic benefits of immigration to the destination country if implemented together with comprehensive reform and legal migration pathways that address the underlying push and pull forces that drive unauthorized migration,” says Pia Orrenius in her IZA World of Labor article. 

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IZA World of Labor articles 

Enforcement and illegal migration
Naturalization and citizenship: Who benefits
The changing nature of citizenship legislation
The impact of legalizing unauthorized immigrants

Key topics
How does migration policy affect the labor market?

Should governments intervene in the assimilation of immigrants?
Self-inflicted wounds of closed borders
The immigration jump: Are more immigrants good for the economy?

IZA World of Labor panel discussion on migration issues

IZA Discussion Papers
Rethinking Border Enforcement, Permanent and Circular Migration
On the Intended and Unintended Consequences of Enhanced Border and Interior Immigration Enforcement: Evidence from Deportees