Big Apple goes white to fight climate change

More than one million square feet of New York city roof space has been painted white to help cool buildings naturally.

Around 1,500 volunteers have helped to paint roofs, across the city's iconic landscape, white in order to reduce cooling costs, energy use and green house gas emissions.

Painting roofs white reflect the sun's heat away from the building and naturally keeps it cool, meaning the use of air conditioning can be cut in the summer.

The full program began in May 2010, with 900,000 square feet of rooftop coated in just five months during a pilot program, which ran in through to the autumn of 2009.

This week it was announced the scheme, which does not run during the winter, had now painted one million square feet of roof space.

The move is part of city's mayor Michael Bloomberg's NYC CoolRoofs program which is part of an aim to reduce New York's greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 - a primary goal of PlaNYC, the City's sustainability plan.

Mr Bloomberg said: "We are tapping into the incredible spirit of volunteerism in our city and harnessing that energy to tackle some of the challenges government can't solve on its own and that includes reducing the city's carbon footprint.

"I want to thank all 1,500 volunteers and 17 companies that made this program's first year such a success."

Under the NYC CoolRoofs Program, the roofs of 105 of public, private and non-profit buildings received reflective white coating.

This includes more than 340,000 square feet of City-owned rooftops, which were identified by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services.

Luke Walsh


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