Shine On Initiative

Climate Resolve launched our Shine On initiative to bring together a coalition of partners under the Sol Collaborative to drive the adoption of cool surfaces (cool roofs, walls, and pavement) as an essential strategy in combating global climate change. 

Shine On will foster international consensus on the two-for-one benefits of cool surfaces. They provide local public health benefits by mitigating the UHI effect. They also can create global climate benefits when implemented at scale by mitigating the solar radiative forcing that creates the Earth’s energy imbalance, which causes climate change (Figures 1 and 2).

Figure 1 – Of the sunlight (shortwave radiation, drawn in yellow arrows) reaching the Earth, a portion is reflected (shortwave radiation, yellow arrows), and the remainder is absorbed and reradiated in the infrared spectrum (longwave radiation, orange arrows). Albedo governs the fraction of shortwave radiation that is reflected rather than absorbed or transmitted. (Wild et al. 2012.)
Figure 2 – Currently, on an average basis the Earth is receiving 340 W/m2 from the Sun but only 339 W/m2 are leaving, meaning there is an energy imbalance. (M Hakuba, Reflecting Sunlight 2022‑06‑30.)

Shine On will spur public and private funding for large-scale cool community projects, particularly for under-resourced communities. 

For more than a decade, Climate Resolve has advocated for the adoption of cool surfaces. Thanks to our activism in support of cool roof policy mandates, there are now 100,000+ cool roofs in the Los Angeles area. We implement projects, too – working with other nonprofits and private-sector partners to donate dozens of cool roof retrofits to income-qualified homeowners in Los Angeles County, as well as managing the implementation of an 18-block cool pavement project in LA’s Pacoima neighborhood.

Our built environment is covered with asphalt pavement and asphaltic roofing shingles made of fossil fuels. These asphaltic materials absorb the sun’s energy, radiate heat, and amplify local surface temperatures in cities to create the UHI effect, which causes severe public health impacts, particularly among residents of under-resourced communities. Rather than absorbing the sun’s energy and re-emitting it as heat, cool surfaces have higher albedo that reflect more of the sun’s energy back into space.

Cool community projects replace asphaltic materials with cool surfaces throughout the built environment. These cool surfaces can be integrated with tree canopies, shade structures, hydration stations, and drought-tolerant green space to provide mutually reinforcing solutions.

Figure 3 – Roofing, wall, and pavement choices in urban environments strongly influence the quantity of sunlight reflected back to space (southeast Las Vegas, Google Maps, retrieved 2023-02-19).
Figure 4 – Colorful cool pavement project on a school playground and surrounding neighborhood roads.(Pacoima neighborhood of Los Angeles; project and photo by GAF, LLC, 2022-08-15).

The Shine On initiative holds a strong scientific foundation that is grounded in peer-reviewed research by esteemed experts from MIT, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and other leading academic institutions.

Central to the Shine On program is the Sol Collaborative, an alliance of stakeholders from academia, national laboratories, public agencies, community-based organizations, industry associations, and companies. The Sol Collaborative participants have formed interdisciplinary teams within specialized working groups to achieve the overarching goals of the initiative.

Shine On and the Sol Collaborative are supported by generous philanthropic funding from the ClimateWorks Foundation’s Clean Cooling Collaborative and the Grantham Foundation.

For more information, please see our press release here or contact::
Seth Jacobson
Program Director, Shine On
Climate Solutions Officer, Climate Resolve

Sol Collaborative participants can log into the membership hub here.

Shine On & Sol Collaborative Slides & Video

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