Societies are feeling the impacts of record-breaking heat around the world. Extreme temperatures have been recorded in countries ranging from Puerto Rico and India to Iran and Siberia. Wildfires across Canada have turned skylines orange and emitted smoke reaching as far as Europe.
The North Atlantic Ocean is experiencing an extraordinary marine heatwave. According to the World Meteorological Organization, the first week of July was the hottest ever on record. In the same week, temperatures in Adrar, Algeria did not drop below 39.6°C – the hottest night ever recorded in Africa.
Extreme heat can affect human health and livelihoods, reduce labour productivity, damage infrastructure and worsen food insecurity. It can strain transport and power grids, and increase demand for electricity, much of which is still generated from fossil fuels.
Emissions from cooling technologies such as refrigerators and air conditioners account for almost 10 per cent of all global greenhouse gas emissions and could double by 2030.
This panel will discuss how, in a climate change-affected world, we can mitigate and adapt to the impacts of extreme heat. It will explore innovative city and policy responses to heatwaves, and what is needed to incentivise, finance and scale up best practice solutions.