Urban sun

The rise of Chief Heat Officers ?

Par : Emma Lecadre
20 July 2022
Temps de lecture : 2 min

As climate change becomes a gouvernance emergency, we have to think about short and long-term solutions. The appointment of Chief Heat Officers will allow gouvernance the ability to face heat raise and adopt different perspectives. This new key position is the perfect example of how to answer the changing evolution of the climate critical situation. Solutions are waiting to be implemented, and to respond to the call, the Hub Institute opens the doors of the School of Impact, offering sustainability degrees to a range of new expertise.


Chief heat officers : a gouvernance wake-up call

As we turn science and technology towards a worldwide response to this global threat, new posts are shaped to answer new needs. When our goal given by UN is to limit temperature increase to less than 2°C, 12 french regions were on red alert this past June when some countries already reach 50°C each year. Middle-East, United-States, Australia, Africa… So many regions are suffering from a high temperature rise. To answer to such alarming incidents, some countries and cities are appointing new brains titled Chief Heat Officers.

Athens’ mayor Kostas Bakoyannis stated “Climate change for our city means more frequent and dangerous extreme high temperatures for residents and for tourists who are critical for our economy. Unfortunately, Athens is not unique – heat is an emergency for cities across Europe and the world.” Greece was the first country in Europe to name a Chief Heat Officer in 2021, Eleni Myrivili. She was Athens’ former Deputy Mayor for Urban Nature and Climate Resilience pioneering multimillion-euro programs in equitable blue and green infrastructure development. To know more about her, we invite you to follow her speech on heat raise in Athens. Can we see it as a wake up call ? When global warming was here since the beginning of the nineteenth century and the Industrial Revolution, only a handful of chief Heat Officers are in post today. However, as mentioned by Bakoyannis, temperature increase raises a number of economical and well-being issues alongside the critical environmental situation, which cannot be ignored. As Margaret Mead (1901-1978) beautifully pointed out “We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment.”

From heat waves to global warming

As technology goes further and further on the problems of global warming, solutions do exist. By appointing a Chief Heat officer in the heart of governance systems in countries or towns, it will allow us to answer in a deeper and more global way to heat raise. Chief Heat officers are not only here to lead global awareness and answer to heat waves, but also to prevent and shape more long-term solutions. As a bright example of these solutions, the Center for Climate Repair at the University of Cambridge has brought up numerous solutions not only to reduce our negative impact but to restore the environment, including climate change. One of their ideas was to refresh the poles by spraying salt into the sky to assist the clouds in reflecting radiation back into space. Chief Heat officers are here to listen to those ideas, encourage their development into concrete projects and coordinate stakeholders towards these solutions.

As Mandela, who’s national south-african day was the 18th of july, claimed “it’s in our hands to create a better world for all who live in it.” In this aim, the Hub Institute opens in September the School of Impact. It will provide different degrees to raise knowledge on all environmental issues, including global warming.

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