ICF Report Shows Millions More in Disadvantaged Communities Could Face Extreme Heat by 2050

May 15, 2024

Proprietary Climate Modeling Finds Over 25 Million Could Be Exposed to Extreme Heat

Reston, Va. (May 15, 2024) — ICF (NASDAQ:ICFI), a global consulting and technology services provider, today released a new report that leverages proprietary climate modeling to project the exposure of disadvantaged communities in America to extreme heat in the coming decades.

The report shows the number of people in disadvantaged communities exposed to health-threatening heat waves each year could rise by an additional 25 million or more by 2050. A similar number of people could have their energy reliability negatively impacted as they use their air conditioning to stay cool during extreme heat.

The disadvantaged communities in this report are defined by the U.S. federal government’s Justice40 Initiative. Currently, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act both include unprecedented amounts of funding to address climate change and its impacts, and the Justice40 Initiative indicates that 40% of the benefits received from federal funding for climate change should support Justice40 communities.

“Extreme heat is particularly dangerous for Justice40 communities, which are least able to prepare for, withstand, and recover from the impacts of extreme heat,” said Anne Choate, ICF executive vice president, energy, environment, and infrastructure. “Federal funding will play a crucial role in helping people in Justice40 communities adapt to climate change, and climate planners will need to take into account the complex interconnection between extreme heat, health, and energy systems.”

The ICF report includes five approaches climate planners can use to address extreme heat exposure in Justice40 communities. In particular, authentically engaging historically marginalized communities helps identify their specific heat-related challenges and potential adaptation strategies. Public buildings, for example, can serve as cooling centers during extreme heat events. However, these cooling centers must be in places that people trust and want to go.

ICF is among the oldest and largest climate consultancies in the world. The company continues to be at the forefront of important moments in the history of climate science, policy, and action. This includes supporting many of the U.S. federal government's current flagship climate programs such as the annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, the ENERGY STAR® program, and the National Climate Assessment. ICF climate experts also work with utilities, state and local governments, private-sector companies, and national governments in Europe and around the world.

This latest report is part of the ICF Climate Center, launched in 2021 to share science-based insights leveraging the company’s 2,000 climate, energy, and environmental experts backed by 40 years of experience and work in 100 countries. Read more about ICF's climate services and insights through the ICF Climate Center. 

About ICF

ICF is a global consulting and technology services company with approximately 9,000 employees, but we are not your typical consultants. At ICF, business analysts and policy specialists work together with digital strategists, data scientists, and creatives. We combine unmatched industry expertise with cutting-edge engagement capabilities to help organizations solve their most complex challenges. Since 1969, public and private sector clients have worked with ICF to navigate change and shape the future. Learn more at icf.com.

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