May 23, 2022, Davos/Washington D.C.— Today, during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting at Davos, likeminded organizations launched the Heat Action Platform a new, online tool to help cities organize action to address and counter the rising extreme heat.
Developed by the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock) through the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance (EHRA) and the World Economic Forum’s Global Commission on BiodiverCities by 2030, in partnership with the UN Environment Programme-led Cool Coalition, the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, Mission Innovation and RMI, the global online platform is designed to support and engage practitioners, policymakers, and development finance institutions to assess and reduce the human and economic impacts of heat in their jurisdictions.
A first of its kind, the Heat Action Platform provides a roadmap to assess, plan, implement and evaluate heat resilience strategies that includes technical resources, case studies of best practices for mitigating and adapting to extreme heat, a filterable inventory of solutions applicable to local contexts, and monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
Based on the specific local need, the tools and resources can support the development of 1) an actionable heat resilience plan or similar planning/goal setting initiative; 2) an individual project or policy intervention with heat risk reduction and preparedness goals; 3) embed heat risk reduction and preparedness strategies into another plan; or 4) make the case for heat resilient investment.
People and economies are already bearing the brunt of climate impacts, with heat being the invisible and least unaccounted for risk. The goal of this platform is to be a comprehensive resource for leaders to help them protect vulnerable people and their livelihoods.
“People and economies are already bearing the brunt of climate impacts, with heat being the invisible and least unaccounted for risk,” said Kathy Baughman McLeod, SVP of the Atlantic Council and Director of the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Resilience Center. “The goal of this platform is to be a comprehensive resource for leaders to help them protect vulnerable people and their livelihoods.”
The platform draws on best practices from around the world collected from a broad range of sources, chief among them “Beating the Heat: A Sustainable Cooling Handbook for Cities”, a resource published by the Cool Coalition and partners. Beyond knowledge sharing, the platform will facilitate practical engagement between those working to address extreme heat by improving the heat resilience of their communities and the diverse group of global experts to accelerate their efforts to get to scale.
“By mid-century, heat waves are expected to affect more than 3.5 billion people globally. Providing cooling without warming the planet, and empowering local leaders to address extreme heat, must be priorities”, said Mark Radka, Chief, Energy and Climate Branch. “The partnership embodied in this tool is a great opportunity to help cities beat the heat,” he added.
“The WEF’s Global Commission on BiodiverCities by 2030 is thrilled to collaborate with Arsht-Rock in developing the Heat Action Platform, highlighting the connection between protecting urban ecosystems and cooling down cities,” said Mauricio Rodas, Co-chair of the Global Commission on BiodiverCities by 2030 and Senior Fellow at the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Resilience Center. “Heat-related casualties are preventable and nature-based solutions can play a vital role in addressing extreme heat risks.”
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“We are pleased to have supported EHRA, UNEP and other partners in the creation of this Heat Action Platform that has been developed to bridge the gap between sustainable urban cooling knowledge products and easy accessibility for working city officials’ said RMI CEO Jules Kortenhorst. “It includes actionable guidance to help cities organize and prioritize action towards sustainable and equitable urban cooling, while also cutting emissions and increasing city resilience.”
“I am delighted that Mission Innovation is playing an important role in the development of this tool to showcase actionable solutions that can minimise the impact of heat in urban areas. It fits well with our aim to catalyse clean energy solutions for the benefit of all. I look forward to the development of the next phase of this important initiative”. Jennie Dodson, Head of Secretariat, Mission Innovation
About the Adrienne-Arsht Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center
The Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock) builds individual and community resilience in the face of climate impacts. We pledge to reach one billion people around the world with resilience solutions to climate change by 2030. For more information please visit https://www.onebillionresilient.org/ or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
UNEP is the leading global voice on the environment. It provides leadership and encourages partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.
About the Cool Coalition
The Cool Coalition is a global multi-stakeholder network that connects a wide range of key actors from government, cities, international organizations, businesses, finance, academia, and civil society groups to facilitate knowledge exchange, advocacy and joint action towards a rapid global transition to efficient and climate-friendly cooling. The Cool Coalition – one of the official outcomes and “Transformation Initiatives” put forward by the Executive Office of the Secretary-General for the UN Climate Action Summit – is now working with over 120 partners, including 23 countries.
RMI is an independent non-profit founded in 1982 that transforms global energy systems through market-driven solutions to align with a 1.5°C future and secure a clean, prosperous, zero-carbon future for all. We work in the world’s most critical geographies and engage businesses, policymakers, communities, and NGOs to identify and scale energy system interventions that will cut greenhouse gas emissions at least 50 percent by 2030. RMI has offices in Basalt and Boulder, Colorado; New York City; Oakland, California; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.
About the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy
GCoM is the largest global alliance for city climate leadership, uniting a global coalition of over 10,000 cities and local governments and 100+ supporting partners. The cities and partners of GCoM share a long-term vision of supporting voluntary action to combat climate change and towards a resilient and low-emission society. GCoM serves cities and local governments by mobilizing and supporting ambitious, measurable, planned climate and energy action in their communities by working with city/regional networks, national governments, and other partners to achieve our vision. Led today by Michael R. Bloomberg and European Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans, the coalition comprises cities across 6 continents and 139 countries, representing over 900 million people or more than 10% of the global population.
About Mission Innovation
Mission Innovation is a global initiative to catalyze action and investment in research, development and demonstration to make clean energy affordable, attractive and accessible to all this decade. This will accelerate progress towards the Paris Agreement goals and pathways to net zero.