A Sustainable Future: Dr. Eleni Myrivili, Chief Heat Officer for Athens, Greece, on Extreme Heat as the Silent Killer

Listen to Jason Mitchell discuss with Eleni Myrivili, Chief Heat Officer for the city of Athens, Greece, about how cities around the world are addressing heat stress from a policy perspective.

Please accept statistics-cookies to listen this podcast.

Why is extreme heat the “silent killer” in climate change? Listen to Jason Mitchell discuss with Dr. Eleni Myrivili, Chief Heat Officer for the city of Athens, Greece, about what the impact of heat stress means; how cities around the world are addressing it from a policy perspective and why it’s likely we’ll see more of these positions and more intervention going forward.

Recording date: 21 February 2022

Dr. Eleni Myrivili

Dr. Eleni Myrivili is the Chief Heat Officer for the city of Athens, Greece. She designs, leads, and promotes heat adaptation programs that protect people at risk while building better urban environments, in Athens and beyond. From 2014 to 2019, she served as Athens’ Deputy Mayor for Urban Nature and Climate Resilience pioneering multimillion-euro programs in equitable blue and green infrastructure development. She is also senior advisor and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Arsht-Rockefeller Resilience Center which she joined in the summer of 2020.

 

Episode Transcript

Note: This transcription was generated using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers and may contain errors. As a part of this process, this transcript has also been edited for clarity.

Jason Mitchell:

I'm Jason Mitchell Co-Head of Responsible Investment at Man Group. You're listening to A Sustainable Future, a podcast about what we're doing today to build a more sustainable world tomorrow. Hi, everyone. Welcome back to the podcast and I hope everyone is staying well. It's not controversial to say that the language we use to describe climate change is incredibly important and frankly, it's something my mom who happens to be an English professor, would I'm sure appreciate hearing too. The term climate change was first used in 1854 in a US magazine article that questioned the effect that humans had on climate. Fast forward and the Oxford English Dictionary found that the use of the term climate crisis increased almost 20 fold over the last couple of years. Yet it's easy to get mired in abstract, quasi-academic language like resilience, adaptation and mitigation. Those terms are important, but it's why this episode in particular is so interesting to me because it's about the creation of a new city official role. Chief Heat Officer, and it's not isolated to just one city.

Jason Mitchell:

There're now Chief Heat Officers in Athens, Greece; Miami, Florida; and Freetown in Sierra Leon. So for a second, let that title sink in. Chief Heat Officer. It's clear, it's unambiguous and it's blatantly honest about how cities around the world are beginning to address heat stress and why it's likely we'll see more of these positions and more intervention going forward. Dr. Eleni Myrivilli is the Chief Heat Officer for the city of Athens, Greece. She designs, leads and promotes heat adaptation programs that protect people at risk while building better urban environments in Athens and beyond. From 2014 to 2019, she served as Athens Deputy Mayor for urban nature and climate resilience, pioneering multimillion Euro programs in equitable blue and green infrastructure development. She's also Senior Advisor and Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council's Arsht-Rockefeller Resilience Center, which she joined in the Summer of 2020. Welcome to the podcast Dr. Eleni Myrivilli. It's great to have you here and thank you so much for taking the time today.

Eleni Myrivilli:

It's nice to be with you.

Jason Mitchell:

Excellent. Look, and truth be told this episode, it really resonates with me. As a little kid I used to live in Athens for three years from 1981 to 1984. So there's a part of me that will always carry some attachment to the city. But let's talk about today. What I'd like to begin with is your role as Chief Heat Officer. It's a new one with only three cities, Athens, Greece; Miami, Florida; and Freetown in Sierra Leone having appointed one. Can you tell us a little bit about the history of the role? How was it conceived? How was it received initially? And what's the scope of the role and its oversight?

Eleni Myrivilli:

A lot. That's a really big question. It all started in the Spring of 2021 with the Mayor of Miami-Dade who came in contact with the Arsht-Rock Resilience Center of the Atlantic Council and together, they started thinking about how they could make the city of Miami-Dade more resilient to heat and they appointed together the first Chief Heat Officer. I've been working for the Arsht-Rock Resilience Center as a Senior Consultant and we were planning to have Athens as the second city that we were going to focus on to help with preparing itself for extreme heat. And finally Freetown, Sierra Leon was the third city that came on board and there's many more cities that we are planning to focus on, at least one per continent. And these cities are going to be cities that are going to be promoting different actions that make the city more ready for the extreme heat events that we are already experiencing, but also the even more extreme heat events that lie in our future.

Eleni Myrivilli:

We've been neglecting the fact that urban centers over heat and we've been talking about global warming for many decades now, but somehow we haven't really been talking about cities and the fact that cities are much hotter than other parts of our planet and that cities also are inhabited by the largest percentage of our population right now and even more and more people are attracted to cities every year. As temperature is rising, I want to just remind that the last seven years have been the hottest years globally ever recorded in the history of the planet. So as the temperatures are climbing, cities are suddenly realizing that they have to do something about it. So this is what the Chief Heat Officer is to do. It's basically a point of reference and somebody that can wake up every morning thinking about it and try to mobilize systems and people in cities to make sure the inhabitants of these cities are more protected, their health is more protected and the cities are becoming cooler because it's not just the health, it's a series of problems that extreme heat brings along with it.

Jason Mitchell:

Let's start with a little bit of scene setting. What exactly is at stake for the city of Athens? And I guess I've been looking at some research and there's some interesting one from the Dianeosis Research and Policy Institute, which points to the fact that for every one degree Celsius temperature increase above 34 degrees, daily mortality increases by about 3% in Greece. And I guess I'm wondering with that said, how are these conditions unique and what makes Athens qualify as effectively the most heat stressed city in mainland Europe?

Eleni Myrivilli:

It's not the most heat stressed city in the mainland Europe. I don't think we qualify for that, but we definitely qualify as one of the most heat stressed capitals of Europe, at least in the mainland. Also, yes, when we're talking about cities in general, the cities that are in the south, the Mediterranean cities are more vulnerable to extreme heat because we know that the Mediterranean is the part of the planet that is supposed to see extreme events in relation to heat and drought in the future. So all of the cities in the Mediterranean are vulnerable and Athens among them is one of the most vulnerable exactly because it is very densely built and very densely populated. And it's very much to the south, right?

Eleni Myrivilli:

So in the study that took place three years ago, I think from the Newcastle Polytechnic in England among 571 cities in Europe, Athens was probably one of the two or three that had the most... Were at most risk for extreme heat and droughts. And another report from Moody's also pointed out that Athens in the future will probably have a lot of problems unless it starts to adapt to extreme heat in relation to being able to apply for loans and apply for creditability will ... by the fact that heat is rising because it probably will mean that its tourism sector might be challenged as well as other productive sectors and generally the commerce of the city will probably be affected by extreme heat.

Jason Mitchell:

Yeah. These issues seem to have caught a lot of attention over the last year. The European Central Bank published a paper called Climate Change and Monetary Policy in the Euro area where they highlighted the systemic and sub-systemic risk that climate change posed around, as you said, Southern Europe and Southern European countries. And like you said, with regard to Moody's, the credit rating agencies have also noted these similar climate concerns and I'm wondering, how has this part of the discussion changed the tenor and the urgency of what you're working on? Because now it really feeds into the economic sustainability of cities like Athens.

Eleni Myrivilli:

You see Jason in the past the policy makers and the decision makers in Greece have not been taking climate change very seriously because we were always very concerned with other types of crisis, like economic crisis and our recession or the immigration and refugee crisis that we faced and climate change seemed to be something that is happening elsewhere. At least until very, very recently it wasn't really in the agenda, neither of the media, nor in the political agenda of our leadership. So the more it becomes an issue that has very clear economic aspects and economic impact to it. The more politicians are opening their ears to it and so it's interesting to see that even more than I think health impacts, I think economic impacts are something that can actually move people more. Because even health impacts, with these extreme phenomena we had this Summer in Athens. We had this extraordinary heat wave.

Eleni Myrivilli:

So of all the extreme weather events, heat is the one that claims more lives. However, we often don't hear much about it from the media, but this Summer, I don't know if you remember, but we had the extreme heat events in the Pacific Northwest that claimed many, many lives and then we had in the Mediterranean this enormous heat wave. And even though we had extraordinary temperatures in Greece and for a very prolonged period of time and then wildfires and the skies turned gray and we had ash falling for days on our homes and on our balconies. And even though there was all these extreme events, we didn't hear much about what were the impact of it, except from the wildfires. And the impacts were, it seems several thousand people that lost their lives, but the newspapers nor the media never really reported on it.

Eleni Myrivilli:

And it was through European media that I read that they believed that based on correlation to the previous five years of the same... During the same dates, the mortality during the same dates and taking out the mortality from COVID. They figured out that between the end of July and the middle of August, which was when the heat wave was taking place in Athens and in Greece in general, we lost about 2,300 lives. So this is something that goes to show that there is a lot of underreporting that links heatwaves to mortality and morbidity. And there's also underreporting that links heatwaves to work related injuries. Now we have several studies that have shown that there's an extraordinary relationship between work related accidents and rising heat.

Eleni Myrivilli:

So all of these things are relatively underreported and even when they do get reported, they could attract a lot of attention for a short period of time and then they get forgotten. So to take this long road to go back to the idea of the economic impacts, I think that the economic impacts are something that can really have... Politicians have learned to deal with these issues and to plan about these issues and to try to figure out and understand how much it affects how much they can be reelected, their electability. Correlating extreme heat to its economic impacts is actually becoming a game changer as far as politicians and how they are starting to mobilize around preparing for heat.

Jason Mitchell:

I'm wondering how are you addressing heat stress in terms of a policy agenda? What do those short term and long term solutions look like? I've heard you speak before about greening cities, about short term solutions like air conditioning which are a bit of a double edged sword, as well as the importance of raising awareness.

Eleni Myrivilli:

Yes. Very much so. Yes, as you mentioned in three parts, in three different pillars. The first part has to do with raising awareness because again, there's very little knowledge about how dangerous heat is for the human body. The human body is not made for the types of heat that we're facing because of climate change. Neither are our cities for that matter. Our cities are built in a deadly, I mean really deadly way, as far as heat is concerned, but that's the third pillar. So the first pillar has more to do with raising awareness of how dangerous heat is for urban populations. And the main thing that we're doing is that Athens is going to be one of the first cities in the world to categorize heat waves and we believe that's going to be a really important move because not only will you be able to describe the heat wave, to have ways to talk about the heat wave more clearly, let's say if you are a person in the media.

Eleni Myrivilli:

But also as a decision maker, you'll be able to decide what to do when. So these new categorizations that we're working on is a totally novel type of methodology that links heat waves and meteorological data to health data, mortality, and morbidity. So each category actually will be talking about the percentage of risk for human life that each heat wave will bring, which will of course, as I said, facilitate people to communicate about how risky or how dangerous the heat wave that we will be expecting next week will be, but also policy makers to put into effect specific measures that will protect especially their most vulnerable populations. So this is one category. The second pillar or category of actions. I mean, in the first category of awareness, we have other things as well, which has to do with, of course, campaigns and a specific smartphone app that we have developed called Extreme Global, which gives people a personalized sense of risk where they are the depending on their age and their gender and stuff. So this is the first thing of raising awareness.

Jason Mitchell:

Eleni, do you mind me asking, because I've heard you talk about before this importance of the need to have named heat waves, and we obviously have named storms or other meteorological extreme weather events, but this might be a naive question on my part, but why don't we have named heat waves? Is it because relative to other extreme weather, they don't create the infrastructure damage?

Eleni Myrivilli:

I think my naive answer would be, yes. Heat waves in general, have not been... Nobody has been paying much attention to them and I think to a large extent, because they're not visibly very exciting. So what to report about them? What to say about them? And again, even though they're the number one killer of extreme weather events, there's very little knowledge about them circulating. And I think to large extent exactly, because they're not visually appealing. What do you say about a heat wave? What do you describe about it? It's silent and it's invisible and it basically leaves dead people in its wake if they're ever reported. So we don't name them, but more than naming because naming, I think, this is my personal opinion, naming is not as important as categorizing because categorizing really gives a sense to people about the danger that comes along with them.

Eleni Myrivilli:

And as you said, usually categorizations have to do with destruction of property and the physical world or the physical plane while heat is actually related to bodies and the effect it has to bodies. That's what the impact is. So we have to do a different types of... Also another part of this answer should be that all of these things, the categorization and the naming hasn't really happened in relation to heat waves because heat waves are very idiosyncratic. They affect differently based on when they happen, where they happen and how they happen. So for example, the same heat wave could happen in the beginning of the Summer and be much more dangerous than if it happens at the end of the Summer because the body actually becomes more accustomed to the heat by the middle of... By the end of the Summer.

Eleni Myrivilli:

So we have less impact as health is concerned or the same heat wave, a heat wave of 30, let's say seven degrees can be extremely dead if it happens in a city in the North of Europe, as opposed to a city in the South of Europe. It also depends on what kind of humidity there is or what kind of wind there is. Whether people are in the cities or have moved to the country at that particular time in the Summer, et etcetera. So it's really difficult to organize them and to categorize them. People have been avoiding it, but we have to make them more prominent. We have to make them more visible and I think the categorization is going to be a very, very... A game changer, I believe.

Jason Mitchell:

I understand. Got it. And so the other two policy solutions?

Eleni Myrivilli:

So the other two policy solutions is the whole idea of creating a preparedness plan, which falls under the category of short term actions. What do you do when you do have a heat wave? How can you best prepare for it? And basically that means how do you best prepare for the vulnerable populations and who are the vulnerable populations? The usual suspects like the poor people mostly, right? The poor people that are energy poor and housing poor more particularly. So they are extremely vulnerable to heat waves. Also people that live alone, older people above 60 years old are very vulnerable to heat waves. Often they get a fog which makes difficult the decision making, makes it much more difficult for them to take the correct decisions to protect themselves. We also have vulnerable populations among the very young, so the young children, they can't balance the body heat very easily, so they are very vulnerable.

Eleni Myrivilli:

Women that are pregnant, people that are working in manual jobs, whether outdoors or indoors without air conditioning. So these are in general, the most... We are starting to create together with representatives from different stakeholders around these very vulnerable populations. What preparation can we do to make sure that they are best protected during heat waves? And we're also collaborating with different cities and figuring out what has worked and what hasn't worked at different cities around the world. For example, right now in Athens, we have this thing called Help at Home Plus, which has a whole network of people that work in the municipality of Athens, who check with people that are living alone, that are below the poverty level. But we can only right now support about 400 people. We need to make this network much, much larger. Get people from the neighborhoods to volunteers to actually be checking in and we need to train them to know how to help.

Eleni Myrivilli:

For example, thermal create thermal comfort within houses of people. DIY ways to cheaply create thermal comfort within houses of people, but also to just make sure that they can recognize different signs of thermal fatigue among people. What have happens when your body is overheating and your circulation starts getting out of whack and different types of organs can be affected. So this is an example. Another example has to do with figuring out how not to have blackouts, which is a more centralized decision making issue. These are to give it the big spectrum of what a preparedness plan could include.

Eleni Myrivilli:

And finally, the third pillar, which might be the most important is how to make our cities cooler and this more than anything else includes bringing nature into cities. Many more trees, a lot of shady trees, bringing water to the surface and using all types of cooling materials and cooling techniques so that we can make sure that the city doesn't overheat because cities are really deadly the way they're built. These big buildings that are made out of cement and glass and steel are really raising temperatures and becoming death traps for us.

Jason Mitchell:

Why is air conditioning, a double edge sword? We talked about this earlier, but I've heard you speak about how roughly the 1,6 billion air conditioning units globally consume as much energy as the entire continent for Africa's energy needs. So I guess my question is how do we reduce our long term dependency on air conditioning as a solution?

Eleni Myrivilli:

It's a race. We have to figure out how to cool the city before billions of populations that are coming out of poverty, start buying air conditioned units and throw totally out of whack our efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for lowering our global temperatures. So air conditioning, really sucks energy, like a few of our... The different things that we have in our homes, different appliances. Air conditioning is one of the most voracious energy consuming appliance so it creates a lot of greenhouse gas emissions, which means that it contributes to global warming. Also, it creates a cooler atmosphere indoors, but it actually blows hot air into public space. So it's a very egotistical appliance because it's only... It's used only for the apartment or the workspace that it's cooling, but it's basically heating up the city which creates a vicious circle because we need more air conditioning.

Eleni Myrivilli:

The whole thing is a bad equation. The idea that right now, we really need air conditioners because we do. We do need air conditions because they make the difference between life and death in a lot of our cities. So we have to reduce the temperatures in cities by creating cooler cities, like we said before. And we also have to find ways that we create air conditioning that works in different technology. We really need innovation in our cooling systems so that if we can have cheap units that can rely on renewable energy to cool indoor spaces without really heating the outdoors and without really using a lot of... Any fossil fuel. And this is really important. We really need people to figure out, engineers to figure out really fast, how we can create these types of units that are very effective in cooling the indoors, but they don't have all these really nasty side effects.

Jason Mitchell:

This notion of behavior change is emerging and becoming more and more popular. I'm starting to pick it up more and more. We've seen it in the IEA, the International Energy Agencies, Net Zero by 2050 report where it literally points to behavior change being responsible for between I think, 8% to 10% of total emissions declined. You're finding it in other government policies around the race to net zero, most recently the UK's. And I'm wondering, how do you think about it in a policy context? In what way can you start to guide consumption behavior in terms of incentives or even disincentives, think subsidies or changes in taxes, to fulfill some of the outcomes you're working towards?

Eleni Myrivilli:

So behavior change is one of the most important things that we are facing in relation to all of the climate related issues. Again, there's a lot of effort looking into what is effective in creating a behavior change and what isn't. In relation to heat specifically, it's very interesting that in Greece and in Athens, it's really difficult to get to people to change their behaviors. Even when I speak about rising heat and how even friends of mine or people in my own family, during days that the heat is very high, they don't really take it seriously. They don't ... it's something that is particularly dangerous. What I'm trying to say is that countries that are used to being hot, people that are used to be dealing with heat in this Summer, they really are not prone to just change what they're doing to understand that we're talking about a different level of risk these days, because we're talking about different types of temperatures and different types of periods of longer and stronger periods of extreme heat.

Eleni Myrivilli:

So it's really an issue to get people to really change the way they act. So part of what we've been doing is we've been trying to create here in Athens focus groups, and to discuss about this, to discuss about where they get... Where people get their information and what information they get and what would make them actually change the way that they go about their everyday. What information would actually help them change their impact. And on the other hand, we have to go into measures that really educate people about what these risks are and give specific data about what types of risks people are dealing with because again, there's a big vagueness and general obscurity about that to a larger sense, because we don't have enough data about that readily available.

Eleni Myrivilli:

And now there's a big rush all around the world to get more specific data about the impacts of extreme heat, both on the body, but also in relation to different things like the economy or our everyday life in the cities. So the other thing is that when we do have extreme heat, we do see governments actually stepping in and putting measures such as, that the industry is sector has to close between the hours of 11:00 morning until 03:00 in the afternoon and people cannot work, especially people working in manual jobs or redirecting energy from the industrial sector, closing down the energy supply to the industrial sector and moving it over to the residential sector. So these are very important decisions that have to be taken from central government or actually regional or even city government, as far as they can affect these types of sectors in the everyday life of people in cities.

Jason Mitchell:

Can you talk about all of this in the context of energy poverty? Energy poverty has become an incredibly important issue, particularly for policy makers over even the last six to nine months, following the extreme volatility and higher prices in global energy markets. But that tends to reflect a combination of generally winter related heating and geopolitics right now. So what does energy poverty mean in the context of heat stress?

Eleni Myrivilli:

It's an incredibly big issue in the context of heat stress. In Greece, now since we have found out that we have up to 24%, 25% of people have trouble with paying their energy bills and this has been true for the last several years. So it has only gotten now because of the international prices that you... The energy inflation that you described. In the Summer again, we have seen that a lot of homes are extremely hot because of the way that the houses are built. They tend to get hot and to keep the heat in and for people that are not able to turn on some kind of air conditioning, the night hours become extremely hazardous for people's health because the night temperatures don't go down and the body never cools down. So it goes back into the next day that the heat rises again, having accumulated all the heat of the previous day.

Eleni Myrivilli:

So this is what sends a lot of the people to the hospital. So the issue of not being able to turn on an air conditioning is really an issue of life and death. And if you have a percentage of people that is so high, if you say that one out of four people actually have difficulties in doing it and choose not to do it, then you have to have some support specific measures that come from the government to economically support this particular population. I have not seen yet any decision making that gives free energy during extreme heat or extreme cold weather. Governments tend to give some subsidies afterwards. I mean, some bonuses or some subsidies for people that are below the poverty level, but the whole thing has to really change and part of we're talking about is getting the insurance companies involved.

Eleni Myrivilli:

There's interesting products that insurance companies are creating that might help cities deal with issues like providing energy for example, for the most poor households. By rolling out some instruments that provide funding to cities when there is a prediction for a heat wave. So usually what we do is insurances get involved after the problem. But the whole idea is to, especially with climate related challenges, to go before the problem and provide the different types of funding to the city when most needs it to protect it's most vulnerable.

Jason Mitchell:

That's actually quite interesting and feeds into the podcast episode that we just had on with the World Bank Treasury, who is working around cat bonds, catastrophe bonds, although not the heat wave context, but I think that would be an argument to say that we need named heat waves in the way that use named storms, for instance, as some measure to release those funds to calibrate those bonds.

Eleni Myrivilli:

Yeah, no again, not names but categorized. So if you get a category two or a category three, and this type of insurance instruments that we're looking at, this is with the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance of the Arsht-Rock Resilience Center, we're looking at... We have people that work in the insurance sector and their pyrometric insurance instruments that do risk transference. But basically the whole point is, how do you prepare and act before the event happens so that you get them most impact for the money that you actually put in?

Jason Mitchell:

How much room do you have to rethink and even re-architect Athens urban planning model? What are the primary metrics that you track and manage to? I've heard some cities get very focused for instance, on greening in terms of square miles of green space per person.

Eleni Myrivilli:

Yeah. This question has two aspects to it. One of it is how big is my mandate? How much can I actually affect and how much is my power in affecting things? And the second one is how I measure things. And these two are not necessarily... Because in between these two there's the people that have the actual power with the people that actually have been voted into positions and that have to prioritize and really want to change things. So specifically the mayor of Athens is a mayor that has been very much interested in supporting the existing green that we have in the city, the existing urban nature that we have in the city and also creating new spaces. But it's not really enough as we need. We don't have the time to take incremental step. We don't have time to start doing small pedestrianization, one or two or three pedestrianization of streets and put some trees to make sure that there is more shade and also create more bicycle roads, et cetera.

Eleni Myrivilli:

We really need to radically transform the city and to make plans to really radically take space from cars and give it to trees and give it to walking people and people that do this, what we call slow mobility. We really need to change the public space and how the public space is organized right now. And this comes back to what you were saying before, which is how do we get people to change their ways? I don't think we have a choice. I think it's going to become more and more clear that we don't have a choice in the next couple of years and that more and more people will be radicalized in actually moving fast forward with changing cities.

Jason Mitchell:

How are you thinking about the city's energy and infrastructure given that cooling air conditioning that we've talked about requires a lot of energy? How do you align increased demand for Summer power capacity for air conditioning, with decarbonization goals? How do you think about prioritizing climate mitigation versus adaptation, or at least trying to find a balance between the two?

Eleni Myrivilli:

This is an international discussion that is taking place right now because we've been focusing a lot on mitigation and we haven't been talking a lot about adaptation and even less about how to really marry the two things, because in some sectors, as in the air conditioning, we have conflicting priorities and it's really difficult to marry them. What seems more and more clear to me is that we really need the transformation of the cities and the transformation includes a lot of different sectors. We have to go systemically and create resilience in cities. So we can't see one sector separately from another sector. We really have to figure out what are the types of initiatives and the type of changes that we need to bring that actually do not affect negatively other sectors, but work together to both lower emissions and protect the vulnerable people in cities.

Eleni Myrivilli:

So I'm not giving you a specific answer to your question. I don't think the solutions are very clear yet. We need a lot of innovation to take place as we said before, in the different technologies that we have. We need also to make sure that we have a much better energy mix in the type of... To really make sure that our renewables have a much higher percentage in our energy production mix. But what is very, very clear to me is that all of the measures that need to be taken will make our cities more beautiful and more desirable to live in. So what motivates me in my everyday life is not just the fear of how cities will become less and less inhabitable, but also the fact that if we do change things, if we do reduce emissions by taking cars out of cities, if we do figure out how to have less crazy use of air conditioning, that creates stupid air conditioning curtains when you go into department stores or all of these crazy ways that we are consuming energy.

Eleni Myrivilli:

And if we do manage to bring more nature and bring water more to the surface of our cities and find ways that mobility is not one car per person, and it creates more car sharing and it's more related to electricity et cetera, et cetera. All these things in my mind are creating more beautiful and more desirable cities. My view of the future is a beautiful one.

Jason Mitchell:

Mm-hmm (affirmative) I'm certainly sympathetic to these times. I mean, for all policy makers, I mean, the fact that we talk about the energy trilemma, this idea that we're trying to solve for three things. Decarbonization, security of supply, we need energy security. And as we've talked about price affordability, we can't create a new class of energy poor out of this and particularly with energy prices this high and the degree of ambition and legislation around decarbonization, there's a lot of pressure in terms of trying to achieve all three of those at the same time.

Eleni Myrivilli:

That's true. And the problem is that they're front heavy. All these investments have a really front heavy cost that quickly gets paid back, but in the beginning, a lot of money has to be invested now in the beginning in order to move to the translation that we need for all these changes.

Jason Mitchell:

So it's been fascinating to discuss how heat stressed cities are responding from a policy perspective, what the role of Chief Heat Officer means and why it's likely we'll see more and more intervention by cities to help mitigate and adapt to climate change. So I'd really like to thank you for your time and insights. I'm Jason Mitchell Co-Head of Responsible Investment at Man Group here today with Dr. Eleni Myrivilli, Chief Heat Officer for the city of Athens, Greece. Many thanks for joining us on A Sustainable Future and I hope you'll join us on our next podcast episode. Thank you so much Eleni for your time today.

Eleni Myrivilli:

Thank you, Jason, for your great questions and for the discussion.

Jason Mitchell:

I'm Jason Mitchell. Thanks for joining us.