Amy Turner

Amy Turner is the Director of the Cities Climate Law Initiative at the Sabin Center, and an Associate Research Scholar at Columbia Law School. Her work focuses on the laws and legal tools cities use to achieve their climate and equity commitments. In addition to legal academic research on municipal carbon mitigation law and policy, Amy consults directly with city attorneys and sustainability professionals on legal questions relating to carbon mitigation in the buildings, transportation, waste and energy sectors. She is particularly interested in the intersection of environmental and municipal law and in identifying legal pathways for cities to enact policies consistent with their climate and equity targets, including through evolving laws such as the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. She is co-author of the book Urban Climate Law from Columbia University Press and is widely cited in press stories on local climate law and policy. Amy is also a senior advisor to the Sustainable Cities Fund.

Prior to joining the Sabin Center in 2019, Amy was the executive director and a co-founder of the NYC Climate Action Alliance. She practiced environmental and transactional law for ten years at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP and in solo practice. Amy graduated from Middlebury College, magna cum laude, and from Harvard Law School, where she was an articles and technical editor for the Harvard Environmental Law Review. She formerly served as co-chair for the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Environmental Law and currently serves on New York City’s Sustainability Advisory Board, which advises the city on a range of sustainability initiatives, and as vice chair of the board of directors for the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative.

The Legal Case for Equity in Local Climate Action Planning, November 2023

New York State Court Upholds Local Law 97, November 2023

The Clean Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC): Direct Pay Claimants’ Race Against Time, October 2023

Proposed Regulations for Direct Pay Under the Inflation Reduction Act: Guidelines for Cities, June 2023

Inflation Reduction Act: Implementation Gaps for Local Governments & How to Close Them, May 2023

Ninth Circuit Holds Berkeley’s Gas Ban Preempted by U.S. Energy Policy & Conservation Act, April 2023

Success Will Depend on Implementation, Environmental Law Forum, March/April 2023

New Details About the Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund & Takeaways for Cities, February 2023

New York City’s Local Law 97: REC Mechanism Lacks Additionality; Will Set Price Too Low, November 2022

Cities and the Inflation Reduction Act, Practical Law, 2022

Cities: EPA Request for Information on Green Banks Established by the Inflation Reduction Act, October 2022

Cities & the Inflation Reduction Act, August 2022

Cooperative Federalism, As Applied: Building Electrification, Environmental Law in New York, June 2022

Cooperative Federalism, As Applied: Building Electrification, February 2022

Local Government Associations File Brief to Ninth Circuit in Support of Berkeley, California’s Natural Gas Restriction (with Michael Burger and Jennifer Danis), February 2022

Cities Climate Law: A Legal Framework for Local Action in the U.S. Offers Guide for Local Policymakers (with Michael Burger), November 2021

California Restaurant Association v. Berkeley and Local Natural Gas Restrictions, July 2021

Emerging Local Legal Pathways for Building Electrification: Air Pollution and Land Use Regulation in New York City & Brookline, Massachusetts, May 2021

When State Preemption of Local Climate Laws Undermines Equity, March 2021

Net-Zero Stretch Code: A New Model for Municipal Building Decarbonization in MassachusettsJanuary 2021

What Biden’s Climate Plans Might Mean for Cities, November 2020

Municipal Natural Gas Bans: Round 2 (The Evolution of State Preemption Law, July 2020

Full speed ahead on NYC congestion pricing: The coronavirus is no excuse for delay (with Jacqueline Klopp), N.Y. Daily News, May 2020

COVID Has Forced A Drop in Pollution. How Can Cities Maintain Climate Advances When This Is Over?, Talking Points Memo, April 2020

Covid-19 Provides Lessons on Climate Adaptation for Cities, State of the Planet, April 2020

Cities, Climate & COVID-19, March 2020

Municipal Natural Gas Bans: Round 1, January 9, 2020

Cuomo's unfinished business on the climate, New York Daily News, op-ed by Amy Turner, December 6, 2019

Legal Considerations for Urban Carbon Mitigation Policies, October 29, 2019


How Can Cities Fight Climate Change and Still Stay Within Legal Guardrails?, State of the Planet, November 9, 2023

Party Time: MTA Joins Legal Battle to Defend Congestion Pricing Against Jersey Suit, StreetsBlog NYC, October 6, 2023

N.J.’s Congestion Pricing Lawsuit: Here’s Why It Should Fail, StreetsBlog NYC, October 6, 2023

4 issues to watch in the gas ban wars, EnergyWire, August 24, 2023

Eugene withdraws ban on natural gas hookups, OPB, June 27, 2023

Cities Stand to Win Big With the Inflation Reduction Act. How Do They Turn This Opportunity Into Results?, InsideClimate, June 1, 2023

Editorial: New York banned gas from new buildings. Why not California, L.A. Times, May 8, 2023

What New York’s natural gas ban means for other states, CBS News, May 3, 2023

N.Y. ditches gas stoves, fossil fuels in new buildings in first statewide ban in U.S., Washington Post, May 3, 2023

Worried about gas ban litigation? After court tosses Berkeley rule, legal experts look at cities’ options, SmartCities Dive, April 27, 2023

What 9th Circuit ruling means for building gas bans, EnergyWire, April 18, 2023

Berkeley’s landmark gas ban overturned, ripple effects may be limited, Canary Media, April 18, 2023

What gas’ court win means for stove bans nationwide, Politico, April 18, 2023

New York Poised to Ban Gas Stoves in New Buildings as Part of All-Electric Mandate, Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2023

N.Y. lawmakers near first gas ban for new buildings, E&E News Energywire, March 16, 2023

New York state relights the gas stove wars, Politico, March 16, 2023

Mayor Adams' record-breaking $102B budget paints a foggy future for climate initiatives, Gothamist, February 3, 2023

Guide to Help Cities Make the Most of Billions in Climate Funds, Governing, November 23, 2022

How Cities Can Make the Most of IRA Dollars, Local Energy Rules podcast, October 12, 2022

California’s 2030 ban on gas heaters opens a new front in the war on fossil fuels, Grist, September 26, 2022

‘Electrify Arlington’ in step with new climate law, Your Arlington, Aug. 20, 2022

Ten cities and towns are poised to ban fossil fuels from new buildings, Boston Globe, August 14, 2022

“Smart” surfaces could chill overheating cities, Axios, July 21, 2022

After Blocking Gas Bans in Red States, Fossil Fuel Industry Eyes New Jersey, HuffPost, July 12, 2022

The Supreme Court’s EPA ruling was the beginning of something bigger, Washington Post, July 6, 2022

After Supreme Court Ruling, Cities ‘Left Holding the Bag’ on Climate Change, Bloomberg CityLab, June 30, 2022

What Makes Electrifying the Economy So Challenging?, State of the Planet, June 3, 2022

The Legal Clash Over a City’s Landmark Natural Gas Ban, Route Fifty, May 31, 2022

A Natural Gas Giant is Waging a Sneaky War On a Minor Colorado Climate Policy, HuffPost, March 5, 2022

Proposal to forbid local gas bans dropped in Senate, Virginia Mercury, March 2, 2022

Brookline wants a fossil fuel-free future. With latest ruling, AG says: not yet (again), Boston Globe, February 25, 2022

The Lead with Jake Tapper, CNN, February 17, 2022

DOE Says Gas Bans Aren’t Preempted by Energy Efficiency, Law360, February 9, 2022

Keepers of the flame vs. climate change reduction; Gas bans worry cooks, Christian Science Monitor, January 25, 2022

New York City Banned Gas in New Buildings. Here’s What You Need to Know, The City, Dec. 15, 2021

How Biden’s agencies order hits natural gas, E&E News Energywire, December 13, 2021

New York City’s natural gas ban is a major milestone for city climate policy, Quartz, Dec. 16, 2021

Bill to Require All-Electric Buildings in New York State Gets a Jump-Start, The City, November 1, 2021

The Road to Clean Air is a Toll Road, Regulatory Review, October 6, 2021

New York City council requires climate resilience plan, Quartz, October 11, 2021

What It Will Take for Kathy Hochul to Get Congestion Pricing Right, Curbed, August 26, 2021

Challenge to Berkeley gas regulation dismissed, a win for cities in carbon emissions fight, Utility Dive, July 19, 2021

With Time Running Out To Cut Carbon From Buildings, Industry Just Tightened Its Grip, Huffington Post, July 2, 2021

He wanted to get his home off fossil fuels. There was just one problem, Grist, March 18, 2021

Making buildings energy efficient just got harder, Popular Science, March 12, 2021

Electric Vehicles: First U.S. gas station ban sparks battle, E&E News, March 11, 2021

After Championing Greener Building Codes, Local Governments Lose Right To Vote, Huffington Post, March 4, 2021

Secretary Pete Is Already Coming Through for New York City on Congestion Pricing, Curbed, February 23, 2021

A Year in Review: What to Take Forward From 2020, State of the Planet, December 21, 2020

Does your state want to cut carbon emissions? These old laws could be standing in the way, Grist, August 10, 2020

How Environmental Movement Plans to Leverage the Coronavirus Pandemic, Wall Street Journal, April 6, 2020

Video: In New York’s Empty Streets, Lessons for Climate Change in Response to Covid-19, InsideClimate News, April 17, 2020

Could the COVID-19 pandemic be an environmental inflection point?, Global News CA, March 29, 2020