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Abstract

The role of green buildings in mitigating climate change has thus become a hot topic. This literature has begun to elicit change within corporations pursuing third party certification of their corporate buildings and campuses. Perhaps the success of discrete green building projects in mitigating climate change compared to the failure of international regulatory bodies to reach consensus for meaningful change is due to the publicity and, in turn, profits associated with certification by a third party green building rating system. In addition to reduced GHG emissions, reduced runoff, reduced maintenance costs, and positive publicity of green buildings for the project developer, green building rating systems also stimulate local commerce and tax revenue streams for municipalities. Additionally, green building rating systems combat greenwashing and ignorance in the marketplace amongst consumers who try to make informed and responsible decisions but do not have the resources to research the validity of claims that a product or building is sustainable. In brief, while municipalities can take actions to realize these benefits, there are right and wrong ways to go about the adoption of third party green building systems, and cities that do not navigate their course wisely will see their legislation stricken down and their intentions frustrated by the courts.