Environment

Extreme Heat

06.26.24 | 1 min read

Extreme heat has rapidly become an enormous crisis with implications for myriad sectors of our society – leading states, counties, and cities around the country to experiment on the fly with policy interventions. 

While state and local governments can make significant advances, national extreme heat resilience requires a “whole of government” federal approach, as it intersects infrastructure, energy, housing, health, food security, homeland and national security, international relations, and many more policy domains. 

FAS is determined to find transformational policy opportunities to tackle the heat crisis, meeting with stakeholders across the public and private sectors, along with academic researchers and current and former government officials. This dedication to surfacing and developing solutions for combatting the effects of extreme heat is centered around communities and populations disproportionately affected by the problem.

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Environment
Blog
The Blackouts During the Texas Heatwave Were Preventable. Here’s Why.

As people wait for this catastrophic grid failure to be remedied, much of southeast Texas, which includes Houston, is enduring dangerous, extreme heat with no air conditioning amid an ongoing heatwave.

07.12.24 | 2 min read
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Environment
Report
Building a Whole-of-Government Strategy to Address Extreme Heat

The federal government plays a critical role in scaling up heat resilience interventions through research and development, regulations, standards, guidance, funding sources, and other policy levers. But what are the transformational policy opportunities for action?

06.18.24 | 32 min read
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FAS
Press release
22 Organizations Urge Department of Education to Protect Students from Extreme Heat at Schools

FAS and our partner organizations welcome the opportunity to meet with the Department of Education to discuss recommendations as we enter another season of unprecedented heat.

06.18.24 | 3 min read
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Environment
Report
Heat Hazards and Migrant Rights: Protecting Agricultural Workers in a Changing Climate

Comprehensive heat safety standards are essential to mitigate the impacts of climate change on farmworkers and ensure the sustainability and resilience of agricultural operations.

06.06.24 | 18 min read
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Environment
Blog
Tracking Extreme Heat Federal Policy and Funding

We’ve created a tool to monitor the progress of federal actions on extreme heat, enhance accountability, and to allow stakeholders to stay informed on the evolving state of U.S. climate-change resilience.

05.01.24 | 3 min read
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Environment
Press release
The Federation of American Scientists Presents Policy Proposals to Address the Human Toll of Extreme Heat, Hosts Summit with Arizona State University

In the absence of a national strategy to address the compounding impacts of extreme heat, states, counties, and cities have had to take on the responsibility of addressing the reality of extreme heat in their communities with limited resources.

04.29.24 | 5 min read
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Environment
Policy Memo
Preparing and Responding to Extreme Heat through Effective Local, State, and Federal Action Planning

Through the broad uptake and implementation of the Heat Action Planning framework by key agencies and offices, the federal government will enable a more heat-prepared nation.

04.05.24 | 12 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
U.S. Water Policy for a Warming Planet

Global episodes of extreme heat intensify water shortages caused by extended drought and overpumping. Creating actionable solutions to the challenges of a warming planet requires cooperation across all water consumers.

04.05.24 | 14 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Defining Disaster: Incorporating Heat Waves and Smoke Waves into Disaster Policy

To better incorporate extreme heat and people-centered disasters into U.S. emergency management, Congress and federal agencies should take several interrelated actions.

04.05.24 | 12 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Tracking and Preventing the Health Impacts of Extreme Heat

The undercounting of deaths related to extreme heat and other people-centered disasters — like extreme cold and smoke waves — hinders the political and public drive to address the problem.

04.05.24 | 8 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Leveraging Federal Post-Disaster Recovery Reform for Extreme Heat Adaptation and Innovation

The U.S. must urgently reform its disaster assistance policies to incorporate extreme heat through an amendment to the Stafford Act.

04.05.24 | 10 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
A National Framework for Sustainable Urban Forestry to Combat Extreme Heat

The incoming administration should undertake a multi-agency effort to further develop the science and quantify the benefits of urban forests today and into the future.

04.04.24 | 7 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Optimizing $4 Billion of Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program Funding To Protect the Most Vulnerable Households From Extreme Heat

The federal government must maximize existing funds to mitigate heat stress and ensure the equitable distribution of these resources to the most vulnerable households.

04.04.24 | 8 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Enhancing Public Health Preparedness for Climate Change-Related Health Impacts

The escalating frequency and intensity of extreme heat events, exacerbated by climate change, pose a significant and growing threat to public health. By leveraging funding mechanisms, incentives, and requirements, HHS can strengthen health system preparedness.

04.04.24 | 8 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
A Call for Immediate Public Health and Emergency Response Planning for Widespread Grid Failure Under Extreme Heat

In a blackout, access to critical services like telecommunications, transportation, and medical assistance is also compromised, which only intensifies and compounds the urgency for coordinated response efforts.

04.03.24 | 9 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Protecting Workers from Extreme Heat through an Energy-efficient Workplace Cooling Transformation

An energy-efficient workplace cooling transformation is needed to ensure businesses have the support required to comply with existing state heat rules and upcoming federal workplace heat prevention requirements.

04.03.24 | 9 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
A Comprehensive Strategy to Address Extreme Heat in Schools

To protect the health and well-being of the nation’s children, the federal government must facilitate efforts to collect the data required to drive extreme heat mitigation and adaptive capacity in the classroom.

04.02.24 | 11 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Adapting the Nation to Future Temperatures through Heat-Resilient Procurement

To spur demand and send a strong signal for beneficial private sector innovation and scale, the federal government can lead by example to drive the market for products and services that build heat resilience.

04.02.24 | 6 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Enhanced Household Air Conditioning Access Data for More Targeted Federal Support Against Extreme Heat

Better data on working AC infrastructure in American homes would improve how the federal government and its state and local partners target local social services and interventions during extreme heat events.

04.02.24 | 7 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Combating Extreme Heat with a National Moonshot

The White House Climate Policy Office should establish a National Moonshot to Combat Extreme Heat, an all-of-government program to accelerate federal efforts to reduce heat risk.

04.02.24 | 10 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Adopting Evidence-Based Heat Stress Management Strategies in the Workplace to Enhance Climate Equity

Without a federal heat stress standard, there is no way to ensure the adoption of heat stress prevention strategies to protect vulnerable workers.

04.01.24 | 7 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Improve Extreme Heat Monitoring by Launching Cross-Agency Temperature Network

It is imperative for local government officials and city planners to understand who is most vulnerable to the impacts of extreme heat and how temperatures vary throughout a city to develop effective heat mitigation and response strategies.

04.01.24 | 7 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Shifting Federal Investments to Address Extreme Heat Through Green and Resilient Infrastructure

The federal government needs to shift as much of its infrastructure investments as possible away from dark and impervious surfaces and toward cool and pervious “smart surfaces.”

04.01.24 | 11 min read
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Environment
day one project
Policy Memo
Addressing the National Challenges of Extreme Heat by Modernizing Preparedness Approaches at Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response

Extreme heat kills more people on average every year than any other extreme weather event. A major operational barrier to extreme heat response planning is a lack of data-driven decision-making resources, such as impact-based forecasts.

04.01.24 | 8 min read
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Environment
Blog
For America to Become Climate Resilient, We Need Innovative Policy Solutions to Address The Extreme Heat Crisis

FAS introduces a cohort of over 20 experts from our Extreme Heat Policy Challenge to develop high-impact policy recommendations that comprehensively address the extreme heat crisis.

01.09.24 | 4 min read
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Environment
Issue Brief
Six hot opportunity areas to beat the heat through federal policy

Extreme heat is the number one weather-related killer of Americans, yet receives minimal targeted federal support and dedicated funding for planning, mitigation, and recovery.

08.13.23 | 13 min read
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