Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) President Ian Tant used their annual conference on the 19th June to state how planners currently lack the power, resources and policies to make the impact essential to meet the Government’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
Tant called on the Government to consider new climate actions around transport and buildings, as well as to develop a tool to help local authorities estimate the carbon impact of emerging, and existing, local plans.
Launching the RTPI’s “Resource Planning for Climate Action” campaign, Mr Tant said:
“It falls directly to planners to devise and implement policies to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions in our buildings and transport infrastructure, and to facilitate carbon neutral energy generation. It also falls to us to engage our communities so they come with us to accept the necessary changes.
Without planners or adequate planning systems and policies, there is no realistic way to progress to zero carbon. The Government’s own advisory body, the Committee on Climate Change, recognises the role of planners in taking decisive and effective climate action.
All of this means that now is the time for Government to enable planners to take the lead to get things done. We need to have the resources, the tools and the national policies to do the job. We need to be able to return rapidly to strategic and local policy making and to proactive delivery, rather than be left or regarded as a regulatory function.”
The new RTPI campaign will focus on practical solutions to reduce carbon emissions by empowering more local authorities and calls on the government to:
- Develop a tool for assessing the carbon impact of existing and future local plans;
- Ensure that climate change mitigation is a vital component of wider planning and infrastructure;
- Empower devolved national governments and local authorities to lead on climate change mitigation in the devolved nations and at local level and give them the resources to do so;
- Give more resources to local planning authorities;
- Reintroduce the requirement that all new build homes are zero carbon and that measures and resources are put in place for existing homes to be zero carbon; and
- Invest in UK infrastructure for smart energy, heat and sustainable mobility.
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