A strategy to optimize the positive climatic effect of solar energy requires a minimization of embodied energy and a maximization of efficiency to compensate for the upward temperature forcing effect of low albedo solar collector surfaces. Climatic effects of low albedo surfaces are related to those of carbon dioxide emissions. The resulting positive climate forcing effect (cooling) then depends directly on the embodied energy, the absorption, and the efficiency of the system. This analysis favors high efficiency CPV, and even more so dual-use HCPVT systems, over low-efficiency flat panel and thin film technologies. The effect is most prominent in large low latitude cities, where urban heat islands and the subsequent demand for cooling negate positive effects of low-efficiency solar installations.