Why Australia needs a heat management plan.
There is currently no Chief Heat Officer for Australia as a whole. With Australia being one of the hottest countries and with a very thin ozone layer we really should be taking heat stress management more seriously and implementing more government plans to help cities manage the heat.
Melbourne made history at the end of last year with appointing 2 Chief Heat Officers for the city. Melbourne is the sixth city to create a Chief Heat Officer as part of the City Champions for Heat Action initiative, closely following founding members in Miami-Dade County, U.S.; Athens, Greece; Freetown, Sierra Leone; Santiago, Chile and Monterrey, Mexico.
“City of Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp, in partnership with the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock) has appointed Tiffany Crawford and Krista Milne to the roles of “Chief Heat Officers”. The position was established through Arsht-Rock’s City Champions for Heat Action initiative. The historic appointments also earn Melbourne the distinction of becoming the first city in Australasia to elevate heat as a key issue of focus by naming city officials dedicated to the task of reducing the city’s risks to extreme heat.” – One billion resilient.org. It is a great step forward for Melbourne and Australia, however we need heat officers for every major city and one for Australia as a whole so we can work together as a country to tackle heat stress management and the unique challenges our climate presents us with.
One of our goals here at Natural cool air is to help enact a different perspective on heat management and shift the cultural thinking around dealing with the heat to build resilience. With our climate culture methodology we aim to educate and inform on working with our climate and discover better and more natural ways to cope with extreme heat.
“Did you know that cities are warming at twice the global average rate? In fact, by 2100, our cities could warm by 4.4°C (7.9°F).” To combat this Urban nature-based solutions are a powerful tool to tackle extreme heat in our cities.Clean Cooling Collaborative
Reasons why Australia needs a Heat Management Plan and more Chief Heat officers in major cities:
Australia is one of the hottest countries.
As one of the hottest countries in the world, Australia should be at the forefront of mitigating risks and dangers of extreme heat. Establishing management plans now will help us flourish in the face of climate change and not fear it.
Australia has a thin ozone layer.
Having a heat management plan with more chief heat officers in major cities will aid in the prevention of sun damage due to our thin ozone layer. More plans and more officers will result in more outdoor spaces with shade provided by trees & Sustainable materials plus more awareness around this issue.
Tackling this problem now while our cities are still growing.
Getting ahead before the issue is too severe is paramount to preparing us for the future. Putting systems in place now will help our society flourish and enjoy our climate. Australia is still a young country compared to the rest of the world and if we put heat officers and plans in place for new buildings to have requirements that meet climate design criteria, eg: facades, cross through ventilation, green roofs/balconies, building orientation. All things that architects are thinking about now but we need an accountable system to make sure buildings are built this way.
More green spaces & natural cooling in cities.
With the New world city guidelines in place new cities are being built with more green spaces to prevent the urban heat Island effect. With a heat management plan in place, established cities will get more reason to invest in green spaces and combat rising temperatures naturally, cutting down the cost and the reliance on energy hungry systems.
We can’t deny that climate change is happening “ #ExtremeHeat accounts for devastating impacts. In 2030, heat stress could result in economic losses of US$2.3 trillion globally.”-Cool coalition. Our world and climate has always and will always change (how else do you explain that there are no longer dinosaurs, and the ice age?) We are definitely accelerating the problem though and the key to adapting with the climate lies in cutting through the fear mongering tactics of the media to enact positive change to how we live. Through positive reinforcement from the government and businesses adopting heat management plans with the use of more natural technologies we can build resilience and learn not to fear the climate and be prepared for extreme circumstances.