Archive for the ‘Local Law’ category

By Amy Turner Yesterday, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California issued a long-awaited decision in California Restaurant Association v. City of Berkeley. The decision essentially – and subject to possible appeals – answered in the negative the question of whether Berkeley’s first-in-the-nation prohibition on natural gas hookups to newly-constructed buildings (often […]

By Amy Turner   This week marked significant growth for the building electrification movement, as the legal pathways in use by local governments to catalyze electrification doubled in number. Previously, local governments had pursued building electrification through building code provisions requiring or incentivizing electrification expressly, or through affirmative “bans” on natural gas hookups to new […]

By Amy Turner Recent efforts by states to preempt local greenhouse gas or energy requirements have not only stymied climate action, they have also been wielded in an undemocratic way that undermines equity in climate policymaking. State preemption of local law is nothing new, but its impact on procedural equity and distributional equity in city […]

By Amy Turner This week, the Massachusetts State Legislature passed S.2995, An Act Creating a Next-Generation Roadmap for Massachusetts Climate Policy (the “Act”), which sets sweeping climate policy for the state, including greenhouse gas reduction targets of 50 percent by 2030, 75 percent by 2040 (both relative to 1990 levels), and net-zero by 2050, along […]

By Amy Turner The election dust has mostly settled, and with its drawn out conclusion has come much speculation about potential climate policy in a new Biden administration, particularly in light of President-elect Joseph Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris designating climate change as one of their four policy priorities. While much of the climate […]

By Hillary Aidun and Daniel Metzger Americans of all walks of life are working together to slow the spread of COVID-19 by practicing social distancing. Public agencies are doing their part by closing offices to the public, canceling or postponing hearings, and shifting services and proceedings to virtual formats. In this post we look at […]

Cities, Climate & COVID-19


March 26th, 2020

by Amy Turner It is an extremely challenging time for cities. With the novel coronavirus COVID-19 infiltrating cities across the U.S., leaders and staff are working around the clock to develop and implement policies aimed at slowing the spread of the virus, adequately caring for those infected, providing a basic level of services to residents […]

An increasing number of U.S. cities are seeking to limit the flow of vehicular traffic in designated areas as a means to reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions from cars and trucks and to help achieve their municipal climate goals. The creation of these “low traffic zones,” or LTZs, can take a number of different […]

By Dena Adler Last month the Midwest faced historic floods that devastated rural communities, drowned farms, contaminated water supplies, and resulted in billions of dollars in damages. As climate change exacerbates the risk of these catastrophic flooding events in the Midwest and throughout the U.S., a growing number of citizens will need support rebuilding their […]

By Dena Adler Since September 2017, Congress has kept the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) afloat with a series of short-term extensions, repeatedly punting on a valuable opportunity to issue a long-term reauthorization and reform the program to better protect communities from the increased risks of flooding spurred by climate change. But  the federal government […]

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