Hit by heatwaves, cities test fresh ways to cool residents

(Reuters, 16 Jun 2022) As heatwaves grip parts of Europe, the United States and South Asia, there is a growing push for policies to protect those at risk.

As fossil fuel emissions creep higher, warming up the planet, they are fuelling harsher, longer and more frequent heatwaves that can kill greater numbers of people.

Parts of India and Pakistan in May saw temperatures hit an unbearable 50 degrees Celsius (122 degrees Fahrenheit) - a spike scientists said was 30 times more likely because of climate change.

This week, heatwaves of well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38C) are expected across a wide swathe of the United States - and even normally comfortable London is predicted to top 32 degrees Celsius (90 F) on Friday.

"These temperatures should serve as a dire warning for all of us ... to better prepare to manage dangerous heatwaves," warned Francesco Rocca, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societes (IFRC).

But while preparations are lagging globally, experts say, many cities are exploring innovative ideas to keep people safe - from insurance policies that fund preparations ahead of a heatwave to shade canopies that generate solar power.

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Reuters, 16 Jun 2022: Hit by heatwaves, cities test fresh ways to cool residents