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Can England Adapt? Planning for Climate Change

Friday 13th July 2012

Leading housing and planning charity, the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), are today hosting a seminar to confront the preparedness of the planning system to deal with the challenges of climate change.  In the aftermath of the Adaptation Sub Committee’s report on flooding and water resources, the seminar will critically examine whether the new localised planning system can deal with scale of climate threats, in particular water scarcity, sea level rise and river flooding.   The background to the seminar is the failure of an effective global deal on carbon reduction at COP17, which will result in more severe weather and an increased rate of sea level rise than currently anticipated. 

 Dr Hugh Ellis, TCPA Chief Planner, said:

“The priority for tackling climate change has to be to reduce carbon emissions - but we also need a planning system that can deal strategically with the scale of impacts which will hit the nation.  Key decisions must be made now if we are to defend our communities and most productive farm land from sea level rise.  We must also consider how sensible it is to go on focusing population growth in those areas with long term water stress issues.”

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation will also be launching their latest report, ‘Socially just adaption to climate change’, written by a team from SQW and the University of Leeds, at the seminar. The report warns that local councils are losing momentum in preparing to protect vulnerable people from the effects of climate change and calls for Government to help set the agenda to ensure social justice is considered in climate change adaptation through its National Adaptation Programme.

The TCPA seminar will hear from Sir Graham Wynne CBE, Member of the Adaptation Sub-Committee, Committee on Climate Change, Prof John Handley, University of Manchester, Katharine Knox, Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF), Rachel Brisley, JBA Consulting (who worked on the JRF report, ‘Socially just adaptation to climate change’) Matt Cullen, Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Dr Hugh Ellis, TCPA Chief Planner.

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