Government recognises planning's role in tackling climate change

11.02.13

The Planning and Climate Change Coalition, representing over 60 cross-sector organizations including BioRegional, has strongly welcomed government recognition of the vital importance of the planning system in tackling one of the greatest challenges facing the UK – climate change. 

Speaking in a House of Lords debate last week, Communities Department minister Baroness Hanham, who is leading the Government’s Growth and Infrastructure Bill through the House of Lords, said:

“Planning has an important role in tackling climate change and making the transition to a low-carbon economy. We want to ensure that new development is future-proofed against climate change as decisions are made.

Baroness Hanham recognised climate change as one of the great challenges facing the nation and said the planning system has an important role to play in mitigation and adaptation. "The planning regime can co-ordinate and galvanise community action on renewable energy and help to deal with the growing risks of flooding from severe weather and sea level rise,” she said.

Last April, the Planning and Climate Change Coalition, led by Friends of the Earth and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), published the first sector-led guidance of its kind since the government's new National Planning Policy Framework took effect in Spring last year, Planning for climate change – guidance for local authorities. The coalition has been campaigning for this cross-sector guidance to be given formal recognition by Government in order to raise its status in planning law.

Baroness Hanham said she recognised the work of the Planning and Climate Change Coalition in producing the guidance "which has already helped local authorities to deal with the detail of how to take action.”

This is an edited version of a press release written on behalf of the Planning and Climate Change Coalition by TCPA and Friends of the Earth.

 Notes to Editors: 

 1.   The cross sector Planning and Climate Change Coalition, a joint initiative between the TCPA and Friends of the Earth, was formed in July 2009 and aims:

• To make recommendations for new strategic planning guidance on climate change in England, building on the policy outlined in Consultation on a Planning Policy Statement: Planning for a Low Carbon Future in a Changing Climate (March 2010), which brought together and updated PPS1 (planning and climate) and PPS22 (renewable energy).

• To build consensus among a wide range of stakeholders on the benefits of new guidance

• To work with Government to ensure the fastest possible implementation of the new guidance

 2. A copy of Planning for climate change – guidance for local authorities is available here from the TCPA website.