Heat waves are one of the biggest climate-related threats to human health, but rarely command the same attention as more visibly devastating disasters such as tropical storms or hurricanes. In the U.S., heat waves in major cities occur roughly six times per year, up from just two in the 1960s, and kill more people than hurricane- and flood-related deaths combined. In the past two decades, they have claimed tens of thousands of American lives.
On August 4, 2020, the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, along with 30 global partners, announced the formation of the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance (EHRA). Bringing together global cities’ leaders with experts in public health, finance, humanitarian assistance, disaster management, climate science and risk, insurance and public infrastructure, this Alliance rallies critical capabilities and networks to tackle the growing threat of climate-induced extreme urban heat for vulnerable people worldwide.
Today, September 30, 2020, EHRA members convened for the first time to define critical actions for the Alliance’s work to protect vulnerable people from extreme heat, supporting its vision of a world without heat-related deaths and loss of livelihoods.
To jump start the work of the Alliance, the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center is committing USD$100,000 toward the activities of newly established working groups, with the intent of pursuing additional funding over the next year. EHRA members committed to working on four key action areas. Moving forward, Alliance members will be channeling their expertise through participation in one or more of four working groups:
• The Education of Decisionmakers Linked to Vulnerable People Working Group will identify the most appropriate methods to educate decisionmakers about the risks and impacts of extreme heat and how to reduce them.
• The Policy Working Group will develop policy recommendations and governance approaches to create the enabling conditions for effective interventions that reduce climate-induced extreme heat risk. It may also include a sub-group focused on ranking and naming heatwaves.
• The Risk Transfer and Finance Tools Working Group will develop financial products that provide better access to affordable capital for long-term interventions and risk transfer products that build physical and financial resilience to heat.
• The Implementation Working Group will implement effective on-the-ground extreme heat reduction interventions.
Finally, as the Alliance recognizes the imperative of science-based decision-making, EHRA members have agreed to form a Heat-Health Science Advisory Panel, composed of climate, human-health, medicine, social and behavioral scientists, to support the work of the Alliance.
For more information on the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance:
Jennifer Manaloto: email@example.com
For media inquiries: Bessie Tassoulas firstname.lastname@example.org
EHRA Press Release (August 4, 2020)
Video Recording of EHRA Public Launch (August 4, 2020)
EHRA 2-Page Overview and Updated Member List (September 30, 2020) (see below)