The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) showed its staunch support for green building at its annual meeting last week in Oklahoma City by passing five resolutions that benefit the built environment.

"The U.S. Conference of Mayors has been leaders to fight climate change and in working with them for several years now one thing is clear: They are looking for solutions," says Jason Hartke, director of policy and advocacy for the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Green Building Council. "These set of resolutions are another example that mayors understand that green building is a key solution that sits at the nexus of saving their constituents money, saving energy for the city, creating jobs, and strengthening the local economy."

USCM, a Washington, D.C.-based nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more, has been a leading voice of support for the implementation of a green building agenda. Most notably, more than 1,025 mayors have signed The U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, pledging their commitment to reducing their communities’ greenhouse gas emissions by 7 percent from their 1990 levels.

The green resolutions that passed last week include:
1. Financing mechanisms to pay for energy retrofits of existing buildings;
2. Greening of school districts;
3. Sustainable development in cities;
4. Green affordable housing and financing;
5. Calling on U.S. cities to adopt green building codes and the International Green Construction Code (IGCC), a compliance code launched this past March by the USGBC in conjunction with a consortium of national partners

"USCM’s endorsement of IGCC is a strong statement of support for what we are seeing as the next critical step in the green building movement," adds Roger Platt, USGBC’s senior vice president of global policy and law. "USGBC’s above-code rating tool that has been embraced by more than 200 local jurisdictions, 34 states, and 12 federal agencies or departments." 

Thanks in part to the support of mayors, more than 200 localities to date have passed policies that deliver the benefits of green building, from property tax abatements, and expedited permitting to innovative financing mechanisms that spur green retrofitting.