Mayor Bakoyannis appointed Europe’s first Chief Heat Officer

One of the fatalities which is linked to climate change is the rise of temperatures around the world. A way of responding to rising temperatures for cities is also hiring a “Chief Heat Officer”. The first one in the world got appointed in May 2021.

Mayor of Athens Kostas Bakoyannis, founding member of City Champions for Heat Action (CCHA), now named Europe’s first Chief Heat Officer, appointing urban climate resilience veteran Eleni Myrivili to this position.

Mayor Bakoyannis stated: “I have a vision for a cooler, greener Athens. 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. Joining City Champions for Heat Action will help me accelerate the protection of vulnerable people and find the best cooling solutions for long-term health and wellbeing.”

Mayor Bakoyannis’s announcement coincides with the endorsement of heat action and community protection from the mayors of Glasgow, Paris, Rotterdam, and Seville. These cities along with US cities including Los Angeles, Kansas City, Milwaukee, and Madison will focus on adaptation to climate-driven extreme heat alongside Arsht-Rock and the founding member-cities of Athens, Miami-Dade County, and Freetown, reports Atlantic Council.

Eleni Myrivil said: “Mayor Bakoyannis realizes the gravity of the situation and is mobilizing international support for addressing it. I am honored to serve as Europe’s first Chief Heat Officer and look forward to raising awareness among the citizens of Athens about the grave dangers of extreme heat and helping decision-makers take action to cool the city and protect people and their communities. We’ve been talking about global warming for decades, but we haven’t talked much about heat.”

CCHA is a cornerstone initiative of the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance (EHRA) – spearheaded by the Atlantic Council’s Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock), a global team committed to providing one billion people with resilience solutions by 2030.

Photo credit David Tip for Unsplash