Businesses slow to protect workers from climate change — report

By Ariel Wittenberg | 04/22/2024 06:20 AM EDT

The National Commission on Climate and Workforce Health said companies would benefit by helping employees cope with extreme events.

Floodwaters in downtown Pensacola, Fla.

Floodwaters in downtown Pensacola, Florida. Businesses should prepare for climate change by protecting their workers, a new report argues. Gerald Herbert/AP

A coalition of public health and business experts is making the case to companies that climate change threatens their bottom line.

In a new analysis, the National Commission on Climate and Workforce Health argues it is in the best interest of businesses to assess the threats they face from climate change and to minimize their risks by protecting workers’ health.

“There’s many businesses that are not prepared to address the very significant risks that are coming our way from climate change, and we’d like to help them,” said David Michaels, a former leader of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, who works with the commission.


The report, released Monday, draws on previous analyses and reports conducted by commission members to help persuade business leaders to protect workers from climate threats like wildfires and extreme heat, even though there are no existing federal requirements to do so.