Planning For The Climate Challenge

Catherine Quinn


The Town and Country Planning Association, a TEP partner, with the support of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and various other bodies, studied how local plans in England, produced since 2012, have fulfilled their potential to make a major contribution to reducing CO2 emissions and preparing for the impact of climate change.


The study found that local plans are not delivering on the basic standards set out in national law either for mitigation or adaptation.


TCPA contends that ‘only a radical refocussing of the system will meet the challenges of climate change’ and that ‘the system remains critically unprepared to deliver CO2 emissions reduction and the kind of resilience measures needed to deal with the scale of climate change impacts anticipated in the UK, as identified by scientific evidence’.


Failing to utilise the potential of the planning system to address the challenge posed by climate change is inefficient and likely to lead to avoidable cost to the economy in the future.


The Report identifies 10 key findings and makes 10 recommendations for national and local government:


Recommendation 1: Re-prioritise climate change in the local plan system
Recommendation 2: Provide clarity on the legal requirements on climate change
Recommendation 3: Provide clarity in national policy
Recommendation 4: Define the scope of climate evidence in local plans
Recommendation 5: Deal clearly with risk
Recommendation 6: Reform the governance of the delivery of action on climate change
Recommendation 7: Review the scope of the English spatial planning system
Recommendation 8: Provide adequate resources to plan for climate change
Recommendation 9: Encourage spatial planning over the long term
Recommendation 10: Promote new forms of strategic co-operation


You can read more about the findings on the TCPA website. This page also has links to download the Executive Summary and the full report.