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New Keep Cool DC Plan Details Nine Strategies on Adapting to Extreme Heat

Friday, September 23, 2022

CONTACT: Nicole Goines, Public Information Officer, [email protected]; (202) 536-7666

Plan goal is to protect District residents from the dangers of high temperatures

(WASHINGTON, DC) – Today, the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) published Keep Cool DC, a strategy to address extreme heat in the District of Columbia. Keep Cool DC lays out steps that District agencies can take to adapt to hotter days by reducing the drivers of extreme heat and protecting District residents from the dangers of high temperatures.

Using the summer of 2022 as the latest example, the District of Columbia is experiencing warmer, more humid, and more prolonged summers than ever before, and summer temperatures are projected to increase by up to 10 degrees over the next 60 years. The number of heat emergency days each year is expected to more than triple by 2050. Keep Cool DC not only explains these projections, but includes a roadmap that DOEE will use to guide the District government’s efforts to help residents, businesses and visitors adapt to extreme heat.

“The impacts of climate change are not distant threats. Extreme heat is not just uncomfortable—it is dangerous. Heat can deteriorate infrastructure, spur power outages, and most critically, harm the health of District residents,” said DOEE Director Tommy Wells. “By working with our sister agencies and District residents, we can address the impacts of climate change and extreme heat so that all Washingtonians can live healthier, safer, stronger, and more equitable and resilient lives.”

Keep Cool DC builds on Climate Ready DC, the District’s climate adaptation plan, and supports other plans including Resilient DC, the District’s overall resilience strategy. Informed by an interagency working group, numerous stakeholder meetings and public surveys, Keep Cool DC include improving access to shade and healthy trees, reducing the urban heat island effect through sustainable development, improving education about the health impacts of heat, expanding cooling assistance to residents and launching new volunteer programs to check on vulnerable residents during heat waves.

­DOEE will host a webinar about Keep Cool DC on September 28 at 6:30 p.m. Learn more and register to attend here.

More information on the District’s efforts to adapt to the impacts of a changing climate are available.