Climate change

Dust to dust: How natural air pollution induces work accidents

Air pollution can increase the risk of workplace injury. Workers breathing in harmful pollutants, including dust, are more likely to lose focus, experience fatigue and even become less patient. These factors can lead to a greater risk of getting hurt, from misusing a machine or by falling over. This column takes data from Spain, exploring how dust precipitation affects workplace accidents. The authors find evidence to show that a day of dust precipitation induces an average 1.2% increase in workplace accidents, compared with days with no dust. They argue that firms and policymakers should be wary of the risks posed by pollution, both directly to people’s health but also through increasing their risk of having an accident.

Financing the green transition: The political economy of investment tax credits

Green policies create economic winners and losers and the unequal distribution of these gains and losses across the population raises questions about the political viability of such measures. This column explores how best to finance the green transition, presenting evidence from a theoretical study of the impact of the introduction of Incentive Tax Credits (ITCs) into a model economy. The authors argue that a mix of debt- and tax-financed ITCs can be used to incentivise investment in green capital, while guaranteeing that most of the population would support the scheme, both at the time of introduction and in the distant future. Without viable political support, there is little hope of getting urgently required policies off the ground.