Extreme heat: preparing for the heatwaves of the future

Greater action is needed now to avert the recurrence of disastrous heatwaves, which are being intensified by the climate crisis, the UN humanitarian affairs agency, OCHA, and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC), said in this report. 

Climate change is already having severe impacts across the planet, bringing new and previously unimaginable challenges to the people least responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. This report, the first released jointly in the history of the organizations, provides a sobering review of how just one of those challenges – the increase in deadly heat-waves – threatens to drive new emergency needs in the not-so-distant future. The findings are startling and disturbing. Heatwaves already kill thousands of people every year, and they will become deadlier with every further increment of climate change. This report serves not only as a wake-up call but also as a road map. Heatwaves demand a humanitarian response that is locally grounded, that acts quickly on the basis of data and analysis, and that works in partnerships with local governments, civil society and development actors to protect the most vulnerable people.

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