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Planners launch groundbreaking action plan on climate change

18 June 2009

The Royal Town Planning Institute has launched a groundbreaking action plan on climate change, building on the work we are already doing. We are today (Thursday) announcing seven new key commitments on climate change, to be launched by President Martin Willey and John Healey MP, Minister for Planning at the RTPI Planning Convention 2009.

  1. Promote behavioural change
  2. Adapt existing places
  3. Work towards responsive legislation and policies
  4. Improve current practice
  5. Celebrate best practice
  6. Compile a compendium of best practice
  7. Develop climate change education and skills

View the action plan \"Our seven commitments\" here.

RTPI President Martin Willey said: \"There is no choice regarding the need to address climate change- the consequences of not acting now are unacceptable. The planning process – through plans and planning applications - provides an immediate and positive mechanism to deliver change – in behaviour, through design and development, and in places. Planners are at the forefront of taking real action to reduce carbon emissions and plan a healthier and more sustainable way of life- our Seven Commitments show how we can achieve this.\"

The RTPI believes that with our economic, social, climatic and political environments in a state of flux, the choices we make today around the way we plan, design and build our places and communities will have significant repercussions for the future. If we don't continually review what we are doing and plan in the most effective measures to lessen climate change then we leave a terrible legacy.

Planning isn't about saying no; it's about implementing a positive vision of a sustainable future. Our seven commitments set out a key direction for the profession: we believe that climate change is the most important issue of our time and planners must be at the cutting edge of best practice, acquiring knowledge and skills. Government cannot make the necessary changes on its own; our profession is standing up now and calls on other professions to take action on climate change.

Our choices need to be as informed as possible. The RTPI has engaged in a comprehensive debate both within the profession and outside about how we to tackle the challenge of climate change, leading to a defined programme for action.

The commitment document is available to view at rtpi7commitments.pdf.