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How a Four-day Workweek Could Benefit the Climate

Numerous studies document a link between fewer working hours and lower emissions

Reducing the workweek to four days could have a climate benefit, advocates say. In addition to improving the well-being of workers, they say slashing working hours may reduce carbon emissions.

It’s what you might call a “potential triple-dividend policy, so something that can benefit the economy, society and also the environment,” said Joe O’Connor, chief executive of the nonprofit group 4 Day Week Global. “There are not many policy interventions that are available to us that could potentially have the kind of transformative impact that reduced work time could have.”

Over the years, studies have documented a link between fewer working hours and lower emissions — reductions that experts explain may be the result of changes to commuting, energy use and lifestyle habits. One analysis of data looking at more than two dozen countries from 1970 to 2007 predicted that if work hours were reduced by 10 percent, there could be drops in ecological footprint, carbon footprint and carbon dioxide emissions by 12.1 percent, 14.6 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively.

Please select this link to read the complete article from The Washington Post.

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