Climate change is one of the critical risks highlighted in the 15th edition of the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report. According to survey respondents for the 2020 report, “failure of climate-change mitigation and adaption” is this year’s number one long-term risk by impact and number two by likelihood.
In a new report to clients, economists David Mackie and Jessica Murray at JP Morgan have also warned that climate change threatens “life as we know it”. According to them it could affect economic growth, shares, health, and how long people live, in addition to putting stress on water, giving rise to famine and causing people displacement or migration.
IZA World of Labor author Linguère Mously Mbaye agrees that climate change and natural disasters are two of the biggest challenges for current and future generations. In her article, she notes that “empirical evidence is needed to inform policymakers about the different migration responses to climate change and natural disasters." "This would help design better policies in terms of protecting the most vulnerable populations from climatic shocks and their consequences,” she adds.
Climate change can also affect people’s wellbeing and how they spend their time. Time use is vital since hours of work and hours of leisure determine basic well-being in standard labor supply models. “Yet, there is scant evidence regarding the consequences of climate change on time use,” Marie Connolly says. Research suggests rising temperatures will reduce time spent working and enjoying outdoor leisure, while increasing indoor leisure. "The burden will fall disproportionately on workers in industries more exposed to heat and those who live in warmer regions, with the potential to increase existing patterns of inequalities. This is likely to trigger an adaptation, the scope and mechanisms of which are hard to predict, and will undoubtedly entail costs,” Connolly adds.