Press Release: ‘Make every planning decision matter on climate change’

For immediate release: ‘Make every planning decision matter on climate change’ says coalition of planning and environmental NGOs 

Following COP26, the need for changing the planning rules to stop all fossil fuel extraction and to deliver climate-friendly developments is more urgent than ever.

Latest opinion polling by Opinium shows that 66% of people are in favour of connecting planning rules to climate change targets, so that all new development needs to pass tests to make sure they are environmentally friendly.

A group of planning and environmental organisations have written to the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, asking him to make an urgent announcement about the planning system’s contribution to the climate agenda by creating a clear link between the Climate Change Act 2008 and planning decisions. He has so far promised to review the National Planning Policy Framework but no date has been announced.

Hugh Ellis, Director of Policy at the Town and Country Planning Association, said: “The planning has the potential to play a vital role in cutting carbon and preparing us for the impacts of climate change. The Committee on Climate Change is advocating a strong focus on effective planning to deliver the action we need. But the current English planning system is not delivering on its positive potential to tackle the climate crisis. The Secretary of State should issue a ministerial statement to galvanise action through planning and seize the opportunity of a resilient, net zero future.”

Naomi Luhde-Thompson, Chief Executive at Rights: Community: Action, said: “There is no time to waste. Climate change is happening, faster and more damaging than was once predicted. Communities have to be able to demand that all decisions on development contribute to climate change emissions reduction targets. The Secretary of State must act now.”


Notes to editor

  1. The opinion poll is available here (Question 11).
  2. More information can be found here.
  3. The Glasgow Pact specifically references the ‘phasedown’ of coal.
  4. The statement sent to the Secretary of State is available here.
  5. Town and Country Planning Association works to challenge, inspire and support people to create healthy, sustainable and resilient places where everyone can thrive. 
  6. Rights: Community: Action aims to ensure that the UK secures a safe and just climate, both nationally and internationally. We believe decisions and action should be owned and led by communities who face a direct threat.


Isaac LeQuesne, TCPA Communications Officer, or +44 20 8132 5455

Naomi Luhde-Thompson, Director, Rights: Community: Action: or 07932 628 969

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