Archive for the ‘Municipal Activity’ category

By Amy Turner and Michael Burger Cities around the U.S. have long demonstrated leadership on climate change, with more than 170 of them having set targets to phase out fossil energy and many others committing to net zero greenhouse gas emissions. American cities, towns, counties, and other forms of local government have pioneered path-setting approaches to […]

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 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 […]

Today, the Sabin Center filed a motion on behalf of a nationwide local government coalition for leave to participate as amici curiae in the lawsuit challenging the first action undertaken by the Trump administration to roll back the greenhouse gas emission and fuel economy standards established for light duty vehicles (“clean car standards”). If the motion […]

By Michael Burger Climate change nuisance litigation is entering a new and dynamic phase. Tomorrow, Thursday, May 24, Judge William H. Alsup in the federal district court in San Francisco will hear oral argument on motions to dismiss filed in City of Oakland v. BP P.L.C., a consolidated case in which Oakland and San Francisco […]

By Jessica Wentz On December 20, the City of Santa Cruz and Santa Cruz County filed separate lawsuits in California Superior Court seeking to hold 29 fossil fuel companies accountable for their contribution to climate change. In doing so, they joined five other Californian local governments that have filed similar lawsuits in the past year. […]

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