"Rooftops in the summer are hot. Cooling down buildings wastes energy. Solution: Painting roofs with energy saving white reflective paint." The White Roof Project is a nonprofit dedicated to curbing climate change by painting NYC roofs white and then hopefully franchising the volunteering activity out across the United States.
And they’re absolutely onto something. In 2009, Energy Secretary Steven Chu pitched this idea. According to the Wall Street Journal, “white roofs and pavements could mean a one-time reduction of 44 billion tons of carbon dioxide. That… translates to removing all the cars in the world for 18 years.”
Former President Bill Clinton wrote last summer that white rooftops could lower “the utility bill in every apartment house 10 to 20 percent…”
And in the southeastern region of Almeria, Spain, the reflective roofs of their greenhouses (and they’re seriously into greenhouses) are cooling the air temperature in the region “by an average of 0.3 degrees Celsius per decade since 1983. The rest of Spain, however, has experienced temperatures rise 0.5 degrees Celsius.”