Rising global temperatures due to climate change are taking a toll on productive work hours globally with a study by British medical journal Lancet stating that since 1990, almost 300 billion hours of potential work was lost.

“The three most populous countries in the medium HDI (human development index) group (Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India) had the greatest losses,” which was “2·5–3 times the world average and the equivalent to 216–261 hours lost per employed person in 2020,” the report issued on Thursday said.

“Globally, in 2017–20, there was an average of 215,531 more person-days of wildfire exposure than in 2001–04,” the study said. “Overall, 134 (72·4%) of 185 countries had an increase in wildfire exposure in 2017–20 compared with 2001–04,” it said adding that “the largest increases in wildfire exposure were observed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, and China.

The report comes ahead of the 26th UN conference on climate change known as the Conference of Parties (COP26). Leaders from almost 200 nations are to attend the meet in Glasgow slated to be held between 31 October and 12 November.

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