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The earth is covered with black roads. Why not color them white to reflect the sunlight?



The earth is covered in black roads. If we color them white, we will create a massive reflective surface that will reflect the sunlight and thus reduce the warmth that is created.

For example, in Belgium (a small country), we have 154000 km of roads. Each road has an average width of 7m. This would create a surface of 1078 km² that could reflect the sun.

An additional effect is that roads will become more visible, so road safety will improve.

Is this proposal for a practice or a project?


What actions do you propose?

Add a white coloring substance to the tar that we use to pave our roads.

Who will take these actions?


Where will these actions be taken?


In addition, specify the country or countries where these actions will be taken.

United States

Country 2


Country 3


Country 4

No country selected

Country 5

No country selected


What impact will these actions have on greenhouse gas emissions and/or adapting to climate change?

No effect on greenhouse gas emissions, but it will reduce global warming by reflecting the sunlight.

What are other key benefits?

Roads will become more visible.


What are the proposal’s projected costs?

Cost of adding a coloring substance to the pavement


The pavement of roads gets renewed from time to time. If we use the white pavement on every renewal and every new road, the reflective surface will keep growing. On short term, there will be little impact. But the medium and long term impact could be great

About the author(s)

Dirk Van Roy, Industrial Engineer, Belgium

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