Climate change must be at heart of planning

The coalition, which has been brought together by Friends of the Earth and the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), has made detailed suggestions for improving the planning process by making it fairer and ensuring that it plays its part in slashing carbon emissions and meeting the targets set out in the Climate Change Act.

Proposals include:
• Setting renewable energy targets for local councils;
• A duty on local authorities to map out green energy opportunities in their area that would enable them to meet their targets – especially potential community-based schemes;
• The establishment of a technical body to monitor progress;
• Setting up an education programme on climate change for councillors and planners.

Speaking on behalf of the coalition Dr Hugh Ellis said: "Words like innovation, risk taking and inspirational leadership are not normally what we get from planners – we need effective strategic action where we all take responsibility for reducing emissions.

"Justice and sustainable development have to be at the heart of the system. It’s not about mindless deregulation, it’s about putting the planning system to work to save our communities.”

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