A study, conducted by the liberal think tank Center for Economic Policy and Research, claims that the way Americans can do their part in curbing global warming is by adopting a more Western European model in the workplace.
By working less hours per week and taking longer vacations people could reduce its carbon footprint. If Americans adopted the new work model, carbon emissions could be reduced by one-quarter to one-half of the warming expected by 2100, the paper claims.
“As productivity increases, especially in high-income countries, there is a social choice between taking some of these gains in the form of reduced hours, or entirely as increased production,” said economist David Rosnick, author of the paper. “For many years, European countries have been reducing work hours — including by taking more holidays, vacation, and leave — while the United States has gone the route of increased production.”
“The calculation is simple: fewer work hours means less carbon emissions, which means less global warming,” he concludes.
“Increased productivity need not fuel carbon emissions and climate change,” CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said in a press release. “Increased productivity should allow workers to have more time off to spend with their families, friends, and communities. This is positive for society, and is quantifiably better for the planet as well.”