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Climate change: Europe's first heat officer

August 6, 2022

Eleni Myrivili has the mammoth task of ensuring the survival of Athens. As the city's newly appointed "chief heat officer," she is working on ways to prepare the Greek capital for the consequences of climate change. That's no small feat: The city has 3 million residents — and is almost unbearable in summer.


One possible solution to the heat problem dates all the way back to antiquity: Hadrian's Aqueduct, a subterranean tunnel constructed under Roman rule stretches nearly 20 kilometers (12 miles) under Athens. Water from this tunnel will be used to irrigate parks across the city, creating a cool green corridor. But Eleni Myrivili's tasks are not limited to city planning. She is also responsible for providing emergency aid for people directly affected by the heat. Despite the ever-worsening situation, she has observed a worrying trend: Many people in Athens still accept the heat and climate change as fate. Can Myrivili change people's perceptions? A report by Gunnar Köhne.

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DW’s on-the-ground reporters are always close to the action, be it covering international events or zooming in on some of the quirks of daily life. Camera always in hand, they report on the changes they see taking place in Germany, Europe and around the world.