Spatial planning must play a central role in reducing carbon emissions and adapting to climate change as part of a sustainable, resilient, inclusive recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has said today in its formal response to the Committee on Climate Change’s (CCC) 2020 Progress Report to Parliament.
The CCC report highlights five key investment priorities for the coming months:
- Low carbon retrofits and buildings that are fit for the future
- Tree planting, peatland restoration and green infrastructure
- Energy networks must be strengthened
- Infrastructure to make it easy for people to walk, cycle and work remotely
- Moving towards a circular economy.
For the first time, the Committee has also set out recommendations to each government department on how to achieve these priorities.
In its response, the RTPI welcomes the investment priorities but stresses that the coordinating role of national and local planning must be recognised by government to implement the departmental recommendations effectively and rapidly on the ground.
The RTPI’s Immediate Past President and Climate Change Champion Ian Tant MRTPI said: “Spatial planning must play a key role in delivering these investment priorities, low carbon homes, nature-based solutions and climate adaptation, transitioning to clean energy and decarbonising transport.
“Positive steps have been taken but the UK is behind where it needs to be in terms of tackling climate change. As highlighted in our Plan The World We Need campaign, a post-COVID recovery must be sustainable, inclusive and resilient with the ambition of reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at its heart.”
He also called on the UK government to work collaboratively with Holyrood, the Senedd and Stormont to deliver the CCC recommendations.