Extreme Heat: Reducing the Impact of Heatwaves in the SDG Era
Wednesday, 17 July - 13:15 -14:15, UN Secretariat Building, S-1520
Heatwaves are deadly, forecastable, and increasing in frequency and intensity globally. Already today, extreme heat accounts for some of the mostly deadly disasters on record, including for example the 2003 European heatwave that is estimated to have caused 70,000 excess deaths, In addition to threatening the lives and health outcomes of key groups such as infants, older people, people living with chronic health conditions, outdoor laborers and the urban poor; extreme heat also has cascading impacts into other areas of society such as reduced economic output and health system strain.

At the same time, actions to reduce heatwave mortality and morbidity are known and relatively easy if implemented at scale. With adequate risk management across timescales, from heat informed urban planning to health system strengthening to early warning early action and response, the impacts of extreme heat can be dramatically reduced. Empowering people to take simple life saving actions in their own communities, such as regularly checking on the elderly has been shown to reduce excess deaths.

This event, taking place on the sidelines of the High Level Political Forum, and in the run-up to the UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit in September, will see the launch of the Red Cross Red Crescent Heatwave Guide for Cities. Panelists will then provide examples of successful programs and recommendations that authorities at all level can use to better plan for and mitigate the impact of heatwaves.


• Mr. Francesco Rocca, President, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC)
• Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat),
• Dr. Paul Egerton, Representative to the United Nations, World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
• Dr. Stefan Peterson, Associate Director, Health Section, UNICEF
• Mr. Werner Obermeyer, Deputy Director of NY Liaison Office, World Health Organization (WHO)
• Ms. Amal About Rafeh, Chief of Programme on Ageing, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA)
• Mr. Chandra Singh Kothari, Mayor of Udaipur, India

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