‘Climate Justice’ Approach Needed to Help Communities Finds Report

A recent report by the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has found that disadvantaged communities will continue to suffer from climate change repercussions if steps are not taken to respond to the crisis through a ‘climate justice’ lens.

The report – “Five reasons for climate justice in spatial planning” – argues that with climate change making flooding, as seen in parts of the Midlands and Yorkshire during November 2019, more severe and frequent, policymakers and planners must consider the economic, social and institutional factors which can make disadvantaged communities particularly vulnerable to such events.

The report further calls on policymakers and planners to change their approach to help prevent those least responsible for climate change suffering its gravest consequences.

Also, the report has found a combination of factors, including deregulation and national policies focusing on housing and economic growth, have “profoundly affected the ability of local authorities to respond to climate change through planning”.

“A fair and decisive response to climate change requires climate justice.  And climate justice requires effective, well-resourced, spatial planning. Even from a purely practical perspective , responses must adhere to principles of climate justice to be effective. This means they should be person-centred and have diversity, public interest, public engagement and equality as central concerns.”

 – Dr Daniel Slade, former research officer at the RTPI and author of the report.

Climate change represents more than a scientific or technical challenge – it is also an ethical one. The report finds that policy makers need to consider how policies will benefit or disadvantage particular groups, not just how why levels of vulnerability to climate change varies. 

Through a lens of ‘climate justice’, well designed policies could reduce the concerns of climate change whilst also addressing a range of social issues. For example, the provision of green infrastructure is crucial to addressing flooding and social erosion, but it can also benefit mental health as well as physical fitness.

At ethical partnership we are committed to the value that planning can bring to reversing the climate crisis. We understand the importance of community involvement with environmentally-conscious developments.

We are motivated by our values, offering a range of services in planning, housing, architecture, energy, heritage and sustainability. To find out about how businesses can reduce their impact on climate change, such as switching to renewable energy, have a look at our 10 P’s campaign. To find out how we can help you, feel free to contact us or reach out to us on our social media – LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.