More than 1000 American cities and counties are investing in the future by taking action to reduce their impact on global climate change. Local governments are developing innovative policies and methods to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and demonstrating leadership by pledging commitment to pacts like the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and the Cool Counties Climate Stabilization Declaration. The operation, heating and cooling of buildings contribute nearly 40 percent of global warming emissions and consume over 70 percent of electricity use in the United States. As local governments advance climate action plans and determine how to meet their goals, they are discovering that improving the efficiency of their buildings is one of the most effective ways to protect our climate and recharge our economy. That is why the Sierra Club’s Cool Cities Program and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC®) have teamed up to advocate for cost-effective, local green building policies. This guide provides our organizations’ joint recommendations for advancing green buildings in your community. In the following pages, you’ll find a step-by-step approach to best practices that address the diverse context and needs of communities big and small, from coast to coast."