Report: Global Warming Can Be Slowed By Working Less


A worldwide switch to a "more European" work schedule, which includes working fewer hours and more vacation time, could prevent as much as half of the expected global temperature rise by 2100, according to the analysis, which used a 2012 study that found shorter work hours could be associated with lower carbon emissions.

The Center for Economic Policy and Research is a liberal think tank based in Washington. Rosnick says that as developing countries' economies grow, they have two choices, they can have a European work schedule, or an American schedule of little vacation and 40 hour work weeks.

Rosnick says a move toward the European system would result in a trade-off of up to one quarter of income gains in exchange for increased leisure time and vacation. His best-case scenario, which predicts prevention of up to a 1.3 degree Celsius temperature increase, assumes that Americans would begin working about 0.5 percent less each year, starting with a 10 hour reduction in 2013.

He admits there are flaws to his analysis, which has and will continue to cut down on transportation emissions, and there is no way to know what a person would do with their increased vacation or leisure time. Working fewer office hours is unlikely to have much of an impact on carbon emissions if a person were to then take a vacation, for example.




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