Carbon Trust joins expert panel to judge Million Cool Roofs Challenge

The Million Cool Roofs Challenge is the largest ever, global effort to scale cool roofs. The Challenge will award $100,000 grants to a maximum of ten teams in eligible countries between August 2019 and December 2020. In 2021, the judges will then choose one team to receive $1 million to implement the best sustainable and transferable model for rapid widespread cool roof deployment. The judges will assess applications with criteria that covers material effectiveness, durability and sustainability, community impact and engagement, as well as operational and business model scalability.

The distinguished global panel hail from academia, industry, civil society, government and philanthropy. To assess Challenge applications, each will bring their own in-depth yet diverse expertise and professional experience in environmental engineering, cooling solutions/technology, green building, sustainable development, energy efficiency, climate change mitigation/resiliency and intergovernmental policy.

The full line up of Million Cool Roofs judges are:

  • Hashem Akbari, Professor, Building, Civil, and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University
  • Soffia Alarcon-Díaz, Director, Carbon Trust Mexico
  • Lisa Bate, Chair, World Green Building Council
  • Walid Chakroun, Professor of Mechanical Engineering Department, Kuwait University and ASHRAE Fellow
  • Saurabh Diddi, Head of Energy Efficiency and Cooling, Sustainable Energy for All
  • Dan Hamza-Goodacre, Executive Director, Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program
  • Daniella Henry, Senior Policy Advisor, Social and Economic Resiliency, New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability
  • Anjali Jaiswal, Senior Director, India, International Program, Natural Resource Defense Council
  • Nick Virr, Program Director, BRAC Centre
  • James Wolf, Energy and Environmental Consultant

Soffia Alarcon-Diaz, Director Carbon Trust Mexico commented, “The global south is getting hotter in more places, for longer. Urgent action is required to help minimize the impact on human health and by accelerating the amount of reflective roofs relief will be provided to billions of people suffering from heat stress. I’m excited to be asked to work with K-CEP on this important initiative and alongside the eminent judging panel help to seek out the most promising innovations in this area that will catalyze this vital solution on a large scale.”

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to collaborate with these foremost experts who have the acumen to assess the varied aspects of inventive, affordable and scalable models that can help reduce health risks associated with extreme heat and improve the quality of life for people all over the world,” said Dan Hamza-Goodacre, K-CEP Executive Director.

An estimated 1.1 billion people face significant risk from extreme temperatures every year and live without access to electricity for cooling, according to SEforALL report, Chilling Prospects: Providing Cooling for All. Another 2.3 billion people can afford to purchase only the most inefficient air conditioning models that contain polluting F gases. These gases are 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide in exacerbating global warming. Left unchecked, F-gases could account for nearly 20 percent of climate pollution by 2050.

The use of reflective coating materials can decrease indoor temperatures by 2-3° C in buildings and reduce demand for air conditioning by providing passive cooling. When deployed across a whole community, the reflective surfaces can also have a net cooling effect by lowering local ambient air temperatures.

The Challenge is an initiative of the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) in collaboration with the Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA), Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL), and Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre. It’s part of a broader effort to accelerate global action on cooling and implementation of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. The amendment, ratified by nearly 70 countries, seeks to curb the use of super polluting F gases in cooling devices.

About the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program

The Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program (K-CEP) is a philanthropic program to support the Kigali Amendment of the Montreal Protocol. 17 foundations and individuals have pledged $51 million to help increase the energy efficiency of cooling in developing countries. Through K-CEP, these funds will help nations transition to more energy efficient cooling, whilst they phase down the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons and replace them with newer, climate-safe coolants. K-CEP is an initiative of the ClimateWorks Foundation. Follow us at @Kigali_Cooling.

About the Global Cool Cities Alliance

Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA) launched in 2010 to accelerate a world-wide transition to cooler, healthier cities. Its mission is to advance urban heat island mitigation policies and programs to promote more efficient and comfortable buildings, healthier and more resilient cities, and to cancel some of the warming effects of climate change through global cooling. Increasing the solar reflectance of urban surfaces such as roofs and roads is a cost-effective strategy to achieve these goals. Follow us at @GlobalCoolCity.

About Sustainable Energy for All 

Sustainable Energy for All (SEforALL) empowers leaders to broker partnerships and unlock finance to achieve universal access to sustainable energy, as a contribution to a cleaner, just and prosperous world for all. SEforALL exists to reduce the carbon intensity of energy while making it available to everyone on the planet. Follow us at @SEforALLorg.

About Nesta

Nesta is a global innovation foundation. We back new ideas to tackle the big challenges of our time, making use of our knowledge, networks, funding and skills. We work in partnership with others, including governments, businesses and charities. We are a UK charity that works all over the world, supported by a financial endowment. Within Nesta, the Challenge Prize Centre uses prizes to stimulate innovative solutions to some of the biggest challenges we face. Nesta is a registered charity in England and Wales 1144091 and Scotland SC042833. Follow us at @nesta_uk.