GSEP Cool Roofs and Pavements Working Group

The Cool Roofs and Pavements Working Group formed within the Global Superior Energy Performance Partnership (GSEP) at the second Clean Energy Ministerial in April 2011 with the goals of reducing energy use in buildings, improving the health and resiliency of urban populations and mitigating the warming effects of climate change. 

The official Working Group includes India, Japan, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States.  Together, these countries include 8 of the world’s largest 20 cities. The government members are joined by technical experts, industry, academics, and non-profit representatives to collaborate at local, regional, national and multinational levels to accelerate development and deployment of cool roofs and pavements. 

The Working Group agreed on four initial objectives:

  • Collect information and tools of existing working group partners in an accessible repository.  Draft case studies and identify best practices of cool roof and pavement development efforts including partnership models, code development, incentives and financing.
  • Promote cool roofs and pavements and identify or develop champions to drive development and implementation – with a focus on city leaders and market makers.
  • Develop projects with partners to demonstrate the efficacy of cool roofs and pavements to the public, policymakers and the private sector.
  • Provide technical assistance to develop infrastructure for testing, rating and ongoing research at the local/regional level by nationally-recognized labs using international standards.


Thanks to the robust participation of public and private stakeholders, the Working Group has been able to make great progress:

  • Mexico and South Africa have adopted a Cool Surface Action Plan to grow markets for cool materials.
  • Local working groups have formed to spur progress in India, Mexico, and South Africa.
  • The local working group undertook a small pilot project to demonstrate the ability of cool roofs to keep low-income houses cooler in India. A large-scale pilot project is about to launch is a community in Rajkot.
  • Mexico has completed a national impact study of the energy savings potential of cool roofs and is working with industry to publish a voluntary standard for cool surface performance and testing.
  • Facilities to test and rate the performance of cool materials are being established in India, Mexico, and South Africa.