April 20, 2024 3:03 am
Singapore’s economy could suffer losses of more than $1.5 billion due to heat strain

In recent years, sitting by a pier during sunset in Singapore has become increasingly popular. However, a study by the National University of Singapore reveals that the country’s economic losses due to heat stress could almost double to $1.64 billion in 2035 compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2018. Heat strain caused an 11.3% decrease in average productivity across Singapore’s major economic sectors in 2018, including services, construction, manufacturing, and agriculture.

In addition to economic losses, workers who are exposed to adverse environmental conditions such as working under the sun or being exposed to heat from machinery face higher productivity losses. On average, workers lose around S$21 in median income for each hot day. Project HeatSafe is the first major study in Singapore and the wider region to analyze the impact of rising temperatures on productivity and health at both individual and macroeconomic levels.

Singapore is warming at a rate twice as fast as the rest of the world, with the UV index reaching extreme levels recently. This has significant implications for productivity and health in the country. The extreme heat exposure not only affects cognitive capacity and physical exertion but also poses a risk to the country’s already low fertility rate. As global temperatures continue to rise, countries worldwide will need to address the economic and health impacts of extreme heat.

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