Summary: One of the challenges of protecting people from heat is that the responsibility for heat-related issues is spread across many agencies and positions. A Chief Heat Officer can serve as a unifying leader for this work, responsible for addressing rising temperatures through short- and long-term interventions and raising awareness about heat risks.
Implementation: Appoint, fund, and recruit a Chief Heat Officer and supporting positions as needed.
Considerations for Use: Ensure the Chief Heat Officers are supported within their government functions and have both jurisdiction and funding to implement meaningful solutions.
- Policy Levers: The mechanism municipalities can use to actualize the intervention. These policy levers will likely be used in combination with each other.
Lead by ExampleGovernments have ownership and jurisdiction over a range of assets (e.g. buildings and streets) and also serve as a direct employer, and contractor. This allows them to promote heat risk reduction and preparedness solutions and demonstrate their impact through leading by example with proactive interventions to make their assets, employment opportunities, and contracts heat-resilient.
- Trigger Points: Opportunities for municipalities to implement risk reduction and preparedness interventions based on the policy lever, building on the United Nations Environment Programme triggers used in the Beating the Heat handbook (2021).
No-regrets actions (low cost/low effort but substantial benefit)Interventions that are relatively low-cost and low effort (in terms of requisite dependencies) but have substantial environmental and/or social benefits.Preparatory measures (actions to establish authority to act)Actions to establish/ ensure the authority to act when appropriate trigger-points occur.
- Intervention Type:
- Target Beneficiaries:
Residents; Heat-vulnerable communities
- Phase of Impact:
Risk reduction and mitigation
Number of projects initiated or completed
- Athens; Freetown; Miami; Santiago
- Intervention Scale:
- Authority and Governance:
- Implementation Timeline:
Short-term (1-2 Years)
- Implementation Stakeholders:
- Funding Sources:
Public investment; Grants and philanthropy
- Capacity to Act:
- Public Good:
- GHG Reduction:
- Co-benefits (Climate/Environmental):
- Co-benefits (Social):
Build community capacity