Chief Heat Officers
Lead by Example
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.
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.
Climate:Cold, Hot/Dry, Hot/Humid, Temperate
Policy Levers: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: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.
Target Beneficiaries:Heat-vulnerable communities, Residents
Phase of Impact:Risk reduction and mitigation
Metrics:Number of projects initiated or completed
Authority and Governance:City government
Implementation Timeline:Short-term (1-2 Years)
Implementation Stakeholders:City government
Funding Sources:Grants and philanthropy, Public investment
Capacity to Act:High, Medium
Co-benefits (Social/Economic):Build community capacity