Work and health-environment: what are the challenges to address in the face of climate change?
Type of text :
Type of referral :
Working group :
LABOUR AND EMPLOYMENT COMMISSION
Date adopted : 04/25/2023
The question of work in the ecological transition is crucial. Employment, combatting unemployment, the desire for
free time, and the financing of periods of life outside of work are all themes that, for the past forty years or so,
have pushed work into the background, even though it is one of the conditions of human life that is now being
disrupted by climate change. The ESEC has taken up the work on health issues against a backdrop of accelerating
climate change and ecosystem degradation. To that end, it is responding to current concerns in the world of work
and warns of the future worsening of certain occupational risk factors, in particular rising temperatures.
The concepts of health-environment and exposome are at the heart of this work. The growing significance
of environmental risks calls for a comprehensive and preventive approach in the design and implementation
of health policies. Today, preventive healthcare cannot be separated from environmental concerns and the overlap
of factors calls for decompartmentalization between occupational health and public health.
Climate change is reflected not only in an increase in physical risks at work (occupational accidents and
diseases) but also in the emergence of psychosocial risks, eco-anxiety risks and ethical conflicts experienced by
many workers. The meaning of work and commitment to work can be affected. For this reason, actors in the
world of work must act both to adapt work to global warming and to mitigate the impact of human activities
on the climate.