A new report warns for the possibility of scorching temperatures of more than 50°C in the French capital.
1. Unbearable heat
Paris could become unbearably hot by mid-century, according to a report developed by a cross-party group of local politicians and engineer Franck Lirzin, set to be debated by the Paris Town Hall on April 27. French MP for the Green Party Alexandre Florentin said that scorching temperatures are already a reality when research for the report started last year.
This is neither a prophecy, nor an intuition, nor a hypothesis. We are in a new climate situation in which some people are already suffering, and which is going to get even worse.Alexandre Florentin, French MP for the Green Party
The city’s current temperature record was set in 2019 and it reached 42.6°C in the shade. However, this sweltering high could jump eight degrees by 2050, climatologist Robert Vautard told French newspaper Libération.
“Heatwaves are becoming more frequent, more intense, and longer in duration due to climate change. This poses a significant threat to public health, particularly for vulnerable populations such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions,” said Philippe Hinsinger, Research Director at the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRAE).
2. Climate adaptation
Over the past years, Paris has been affected by the impacts of climate change, including heatwaves, floods, and extreme weather events. Robert Vautard, Director of Research at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), said the city has made significant progress in terms of climate adaptation but noted that more needs to be done to ensure the city’s resilience to future climate impacts.
One of the main initiatives taken by the city is the development of a Climate Plan, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency, and increase the resilience of the city to the impacts of climate change. In addition, the plan includes measures such as the creation of more green spaces, the installation of solar panels on public buildings, and the promotion of sustainable transportation.
3. Community involvement
Another important aspect of Paris’ climate adaptation efforts is the involvement of the community, with local businesses and organizations working to promote sustainable practices and encourage community involvement in climate action. However, according to the report, urgent steps need to be taken to prevent a “nightmare scenario”. Somme of the suggestions include planting trees and removing asphalt, and cover buildings with ‘vertical greenery’ to provide shade and release cooling moisture into the air.