Apply to the
Million Cool Roofs

Cool informal dwelling.JPG

The Million Cool Roofs Challenge entry period has ended and the challenge is no longer accepting applications. If you still have questions or would like to know more about the challenge, please contact the team on

Purpose of the Challenge

We encourage applicants to read the Purpose page for more information on the objectives of the Million Cool Roofs Challenge.

Potential Solutions

The Million Cool Roofs Challenge is looking for the most impactful proposals to rapidly scale up the use of cool roofs in countries with large numbers of people facing heat stress risks.

Projects may include, but are not limited to, one or more of the following activities:

  • Demonstrator projects

  • Training programmes

  • Policy change (e.g. building codes)

  • Awareness raising and communication campaigns

  • Volunteer programmes

  • Novel approaches to financing and fundraising

  • Stakeholder coordination

  • Building up of local supply chains

  • Data gathering and impact measurement

  • New business models for companies selling cool coatings

The programme objective is to improve access to cooling, and so it is expected that projects will include application of cool roof materials to buildings that do not currently have air conditioning, for example houses in informal settlements in low-income neighbourhoods. However, in order to seed change and embed the approach, projects may also include buildings that have air conditioning and can reduce their energy consumption through the use of cool roofs, providing a stronger financial incentive for the owners and a more sustainable business model that can enable cool roof ecosystems to develop locally.

Projects are likely to involve multiple organisations, but should have a single lead organisation responsible for coordinating any other organisations involved and receiving the funds.

The Technical Resources and Implementers’ Handbook, both listed below, provide additional information you may find useful when aligning your solution with the Challenge. A wide range of supplementary cool roof resources can be found on the website of the Global Cool Cities Alliance, which is the technical partner to the Challenge. If you’d like to discuss a technical question relating to your application, please contact the Global Cool Cities Alliance team via

Prize Fund

The Challenge will award $100,000 grants to up to ten teams this year to deploy solar reflective coating and/or materials in an eligible country between August 2019 and December 2020. From there, $1 million will be awarded in 2021 to the team that has demonstrated the best sustainable and transferable model for rapid deployment of cool roofs in an eligible country and best meets the judging criteria. Materials should also meet minimum performance standards and be applied to roofs of buildings regularly occupied by people.



  • 28 January 2019: Applications open for $100,000 Boost Awards

  • 20 May 2019: Deadline for applications for Boost Awards

  • August 2019: Up to ten finalists selected and awarded $100,000 each


  • December 2020: Deadline for finalists to achieve scale

  • March 2021: Winner announced and awarded $1 million

Eligibility Criteria

Please ensure you have carefully reviewed all of the eligibility criteria before applying to the Challenge. These criteria include a requirement that participants in the Challenge must deploy cool roof solutions in an Article 5 Group 1 developing country as defined in the Montreal Protocol. 

Judging Criteria

Please ensure you have carefully reviewed all of the judging criteria before applying to the Challenge.

Technical Resources

We encourage you to consult the technical resources below before applying to the Challenge, including the minimum product performance requirements and the tutorials.

Implementers’ Handbook

We encourage you to read the Implementers’ Handbook, which provides guidance on how to strengthen your application.

Entry Form

Once you’ve reviewed all of the materials referenced on this Apply page, please complete the Challenge Entry Form.


If you have a question which isn’t answered by the materials on this Apply page, please check the FAQs.

Terms and Conditions

Please ensure you have read all of Terms and Conditions before applying to the Challenge. For information on how your data will be managed by the Challenge, please check the Privacy Policy.