U.S. cities hire specialists to counter climate change as impacts worsen

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 2ND, 2021

🖋📸REUTERS

Tucson hired a forester. Miami named a heat officer. And Los Angeles appointed a climate emergency mobilization director.

Across the United States, cities have launched new programs focused on dealing with extreme weather, reflecting the growing impacts of climate change on local communities, according to experts.

Since 2019 at least 30 U.S. cities have taken fresh action, such as hiring specialists to combat the impact of extreme weather, including Phoenix, Houston, Louisville, Nashville, and Oakland, according to the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, based at Washington D.C.'s Atlantic Council think tank.

Many of those cities have created posts and initiatives to deal with worsening heat waves, seasonal wildfires, or the effects of flooding, often with a focus on poor and minority communities

Tucson, one of the hottest cities in the country, has hired a climate change advisor and a city forestry advisor to supervise the planting of 1 million trees around the Arizona desert city by 2030.

City officials say the trees will help soak up carbon and provide cooling, especially in its poorer districts which have less shade.

The planting initiative, so far, is relying on philanthropic donations and city funding.

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