Shade trees and reflective roofs: US advises the world on heat

By Sara Schonhardt | 03/28/2024 06:31 AM EDT

Senior U.S. officials and the largest international aid group will offer 30 countries guidance on protecting against extreme heat.

A Beijing resident pours water on himself during a heat wave in July.

A Beijing resident pours water on himself during a heat wave in July. The U.S. is warning countries to prepare for extreme heat. Andy Wong/AP

The U.S. government’s international aid agency will advise developing nations on how to prepare more seriously for extreme heat by taking steps such as drafting emergency plans for heat waves, planting trees in cities and covering roofs with reflective paint.

Senior U.S. officials and the world’s largest humanitarian group will meet with representatives of 30 nations Thursday at a virtual summit to draw attention to the growing dangers of record-breaking temperatures — and the need for money.

Samantha Power, who heads the U.S. Agency for International Development, and White House climate adviser John Podesta are expected to describe U.S. efforts including the release of the nation’s first guidance on extreme heat for federal agencies overseas.


The guidance could help countries devise their own plans for protecting people from heat waves, particularly outdoor workers who often suffer under sweltering temperatures.