Category Archives: Key Initiatives

Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership (GSEP)

The Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership was launched by then Secretary of Energy Dr. Steven Chu as part of the Clean Energy Ministerial and the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation (IPEEC). GCCA manages GSEP’s Cool Roofs and Pavements Working Group for DOE.

The official members of the working group are the national governments of India, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and the U.S. In addition, industry and academic representatives from each country are very active, making the Working Group a true public/private partnership.

Member countries generally commit to an action plan to accelerate the deployment of cool roofs and pavements that includes:

  1. Analyzing the energy savings, GHG reductions, and economic payback of deploying cool roofs and pavements.
  2. Developing standards for cool surface performance and testing procedures and infrastructure. These are usually voluntary at first, with long term goals to move the standards into mandatory building codes.
  3. Capacity building for technical experts, policymakers, and others.
  4. Demonstration projects
  5. Most importantly, the creation and support of local working groups to achieve the goals of the action plan.

Progress to date

  • Mexico launched its action plan in May 2012. Since then, they have launched a local working group led by industry, published a national impact study, drafted a voluntary industry standard, attended cool surface testing and policy workshops in the U.S., and hosted a series of awareness raising conferences and meetings. A testing facility for cool surfaces is currently entering the accreditation process.
  • South Africa joined the working group in January 2013. They have adopted an action plan, launched a local public/private cool surfaces organization (SACSA), and initiated an impact study based on the Mexico model.
  • India has developed two projects to demonstrate the thermal comfort benefits of cool surfaces on low-income homes.

Cool Roofs and Cool Pavements Toolkit

The GCCA Cool Roofs and Pavements Toolkit is a hub of information on urban heat islands and mitigation technologies. The toolkit includes a searchable knowledge base of more than 500 studies, pictures, videos, presentations, and programmatic documents. You can also check out the Forum to ask questions, find answers, and interact with others.


For basic background, the toolkit also has downloadable primers that explain the science of cool, reflective surfaces and highlights how cities implement policies to reduce excess urban heat.

The Toolkit is updated on a regular basis, so check back often to find the latest cool news and science.

Cool Surfaces News Roundup: 2013

The Global Cool Cities Alliance keeps a comprehensive list of media covering cool roofs, cool pavements, and a wide range of urban heat island-related issues. Periodically, we will highlight trending topics in a feature we call Cool Retrospective. For our inaugural issue, we look back at 2013.

2013 saw a number of cities make huge strides in mitigating the impacts of excess urban heat by adopting new cool surface policies. New studies identified the economic advantages of cool roofing and highlighted other critical benefits of reducing urban heat islands to health and to addressing environmental and social justice issues. Overall, awareness of the cool roofing opportunity continues to grow.

Read the Retrospective on our Cool Roofs and Cool Pavements Toolkit knowledge base here.