Axios reports that "amid record heat in Phoenix and the Southwest, fears are ratcheting up that U.S. cities aren't doing enough to mitigate extreme heat - including appointing 'chief heat officers' … Cities like Boston and New York are managing their heat response through their emergency services departments or offices of resilience or sustainability.
"But having a dedicated position can be important because it empowers the officeholder to cut through red tape and focus squarely on mitigating heat."
The story notes that over the past few years, Miami-Dade County, Phoenix and Los Angeles all have appointed chief heat officers, charged with adding "muscle and heft to their hot-weather strategies … Cities that have named a chief heat officer say the imprimatur of the position helps get things done and sends a critical message."
Axios notes that "among Miami-Dade's accomplishments: Lowering the thresholds for heat advisories and warnings, installing more A/C units in public housing, and increasing tree canopy coverage."
- KC's View:
I reported on this trend in a June 2021 FaceTime, and I still believe that it would behoove companies of any size to create their own Chief Heat Officer positions. Or Chief Climate Officer. Or whatever you want to call it. But strategizing and defining tactics that prepare companies to deal with these climate issues strikes me as a full-time gig, not an afterthought.