National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy: Heat Is Known as ‘the Silent Killer in Climate Change’

( – “Heat is actually talked about as the silent killer in climate change,” impacting “more human beings than all other climate impacts combined,” National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy said Wednesday.

“There’s about 100 million-plus people in the world right now that are experiencing tremendous amounts of heat, which is life threatening to so many, particularly our senior citizens, and heat is actually talked about as the ‘silent killer’ in climate change. It actually impacts more human beings than all other climate impacts combined,” McCarthy said during a gaggle on board Air Force One en route to Somerset, Mass.

McCarthy spoke to reporters prior to President Joe Biden announcing executive action to fight climate change.

“The president is going to announce some new investments to allow states to be more prepared and resilient in the face of the heat and to, frankly, save lives, because that’s what it’s going to take,” the national climate adviser said.

When asked why the administration decided not to declare a climate emergency this week, McCarthy said, “I think that it was just a decision that we need to be thoughtful about this, and we want to outline actions, not just declare things. So I think it was just important for the president to get his arms around the various threads of work that we can put together and lay them out in a way that he’s comfortable with.”


When asked whether the White House or the president have concerns about potential executive overreach in declaring a climate emergency, she said, “I think the considerations are just that the president wants to make sure that we’re doing this right, that we’re laying it out, and that we have the time we need to get this work done. That’s all.”

When asked to clarify whether the White House does believes an emergency declaration can be applied to climate as opposed to a singular natural event,” McCarthy said, “I really don’t want to answer that. All I know is that the president has broad authority in these areas, and he’s going to utilize the authorities he feels most appropriate.”


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