The National League of Cities (NLC) and its membership has endorsed a national green-building-policy agenda that calls on the federal government to support critical green-building efforts that are working to help cities save money, save energy, and create jobs.

The NLC, the oldest and largest national organization representing nearly 2,000 municipal governments, adopted five resolutions that support local sustainable-building programs. The resolutions that were adopted unanimously include:

  • Calling on the federal government to address issues of sustainability and support local green efforts.
  • Congressional action to support property assessed clean-energy programs.
  • Clarification that federal law does not preempt state and local energy-efficiency building codes.
  • Support for green affordable housing and financing.
  • Support for sustainable development in cities and towns.

Municipalities have served as laboratories for addressing climate change and provided examples of how the federal government should promote sustainability across the country. These resolutions represent an endorsement for implementing a green-building and neighborhood agenda that will advance opportunities to revitalize the economy. These green-building measures, which are advancing in localities across the country, are helping create green jobs, save people money through operational cost savings, combat climate change, preserve water and natural resources, and promote better health.

The resolutions demonstrate the continuation of a national trend of local government leadership on sustainable planning and innovation. Buildings in the United States are responsible for 39 percent of carbon-dioxide emissions, 40 percent of energy consumption, 13 percent of water consumption, and 15 percent of gross domestic product per year, making green building a source of significant and environmental opportunity. Greater building efficiency can meet 85 percent of future U.S. demand for energy, and a national commitment to green building has the potential to generate 2.5 million American jobs.