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Florida's Senate passed this week a bill aimed at banning cities and counties from implementing requirements for mandatory protections against extreme heat for workers. A similar law was passed last year in Texas.

State Republicans imposed their majority in a party-line vote that ended 28-11. If signed into law, Senate Bill 1492 would ban local governments from going beyond federal requirements when requiring water breaks and rest under the shade during work periods. The bill now heads to the House and, if passed, would need the final approval of Governor Ron DeSantis.

NBC News reported that supporters of the bill said the measure will help apply measures consistently across the state. In contrast, labor organizations said that standards are necessary to ensure workers are safe, especially those working in construction, agriculture and other majority-outdoor sectors. These workers have the higher risks of heat-related deaths, according to the National Weather Service.

The bill is making its way through the state legislature as global temperatures continue to rise. February marked the 12th month in which the world endured temperatures 1.5°C hotter than pre-industrial levels for the first time on record, something that scientists called a "warning to humanity."

Storms, drought and fire have lashed the planet as climate change, supercharged by the naturally-occurring El Nino phenomenon, stoked record warming in 2023, making it the hottest in 100,000 years.

The extremes have continued into 2024, Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) service said, confirming that February 2023 to January 2024 saw warming of 1.52 degrees Celsius above the 19th century benchmark.

That is a grave foretaste of the Paris climate deal's crucial 1.5C warming threshold, but it does not signal a permanent breach of the limit, which is measured over decades, scientists said.

Planet-heating emissions, mainly from the burning of fossil fuels, have continued to rise in recent years, when scientists say they need to fall by almost half this decade and the UN's IPCC climate panel has warned that the world will likely crash through 1.5C in the early 2030s.

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