Stakeholder Groups For The Specific Issue Of Heatwaves Related To Global Warming

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Impact of global warming on the health of the human population cannot be overemphasized where it is known to be a serious issue for an individual’s health and the surrounding community. Extreme weather can create many health complications such as physical, mental, and within communities. Extreme weather changes can affect different components of the environment such as water, air, weather, oceans, and ecosystems. Extreme weather changes can add risks towards issues such as health diseases and illnesses which is produced from events such as wildfires, floods, heat waves, tropical rainstorms, etc. This paper will be focusing solely on heat waves and their impacts on environmental health in the United States by looking into specific solution focused stakeholder groups. There are many risks that extreme weather can have an effect on, one of the main extreme weather concerns that can have an influence on human health is heatwaves. Heat waves are increasing in occurrence, length, and intensity worldwide in climate changes. Heat waves are four of the top ten deadliest U. S disasters since 1980. An increase in the intensity of heat waves and tropical storms puts humans at risk of physical health, which can also limit access to water and increase the risk of dehydration. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA, exposure can lead to heat stroke, dehydration, and cardiovascular, respiratory, and cerebrovascular disease.

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The dominant stakeholder groups for the specific issue on heat waves are the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and the Union of Concerned Scientists. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is an independent non-partisan, nonprofit organization working to forge practical solutions to climate change. Their mission is to enhance strong policy and action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean energy, and strengthen resilience to climate impacts. The Union of Concerned Scientists is a national nonprofit organization founded by scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who sought to use the power of science to address global problems and improve people’s lives. Their mission is to combine technical analysis and effective advocacy to create innovative, practical solutions for health, safe, and sustainable future.

Many consequences of extreme heat will be difficult to predict or avoid, but within each groups’ mission, they also have strategies that they use to advance their agenda to decrease the impact of heat waves. While most are at risk of illness and death when exposed to extreme heat, certain groups are more vulnerable than others. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions have created ways for communities to build strength towards the extreme heat and decrease the impacts that can affect their health. These solutions include but are not limited to, creating heat preparation plans such as opening cooling centers during extreme heat, using green roofs that can reduce the built-up heat effect at the same time improving building materials and shaded building construction, practicing energy efficiency to reduce the demand in the electricity grid, and shading/cooling livestock which can include switching to growing more heat resistant crops. The Union of Concerned Scientists created some climate-smart energy solutions which include creating an efficient and low-carbon electricity system that is combined with local adjustment measures that can help reduce the impacts of extreme heat on society including residents and businesses, and just like C2ES, they also suggest creating community cooling centers which can lower the need and costs to cool individual homes. The difference between developing countries and high-socioeconomic countries is that high-income countries tend to have access to resources and plans to reduce the effect on individuals such as creating public cool spaces. By implementing these solutions and strategies, it can lead to decreasing heat-trapping emissions and help communities adapt to rising heat as well as enhancing renewable energy, energy space, and energy efficiency making solutions more affordable and available to communities.

Within a groups’ mission and goals, they can have an influence towards other people or groups that have a common interest. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions have partnered with business environmental leadership council members to better understand policies and technologies focusing on reaching their climate goals. The climate innovation 2050 is able to bring together companies to examine potential pathways towards reducing U.S. emissions, partnering with the U.S. conference of mayors to strengthen public-private climate cooperation nationwide, and working with cities, states, and businesses to explore market-based strategies for cost-effective emissions reduction and ultimate aim for a national market-based climate program. C2ES co-hosts the annual Climate Leadership Conference to allow professionals and networks to get the latest policy and business solutions to ensure proper execution for their studies that can lead to shaping public opinion and beliefs. The Union of Concerned Scientists have an influence on political appointees, the White House, and other agencies and administrations. The UCS sent out policy experts, scientists, and climate economists to international climate treaty negotiations including the Paris meeting, which is an annual gathering of the Conference of Parties to the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change.

In regard to each group being successful or unsuccessful in achieving its goals, I would say with the idea of creating solutions and techniques has come a long way to improving human health and benefiting communities around this certain implication. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions have had successful outcomes from implementing the cool roof strategy. The cooling roof products are made out of reflective and emissive materials that can remain 50-60 degrees cooler, having higher solar reflectance transfers less than 35% of the energy to the building below them. A California study showed statewide energy savings of 45 cents per square foot from cool roofs. The city of Philadelphia has also added cools roofs and insulations to residential buildings that lack air-conditions, to which the study has shown that homes that have switched from traditional roofs saved 6.4% on energy. Cooling centers have shown that it reduces the vulnerable populations’ risk to heat exposure, an in study that concluded: spending time in a cooler environment during a heat wave leads to reduced risk of mortality by around 66% compared to those who did not visit air-conditioned spaces.

Given the solutions that have been proven to reduce risk from heat waves, there are still many factors that will need assessment in order to completely maintain successful strategies to limiting/diminish heatwaves’ negative impact in the United States. The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and the Union of Concerned Scientists are two of the many important stakeholders that take interest in solving the implications that heat waves have/will cause towards the society we live in. As this paper shows, there is still much-needed information and research to continue to combat the negative effects of heat waves. 

01 February 2021

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