A climate change report to be submitted with a planning application should address the following questions:
- Has the highest reduction in CO2 emissions been provided?
- Has the fullest possible use of public transport, cycling and walking been incorporated, reducing the overall need to travel, especially by car?
- Have existing or planned opportunities for decentralised and renewable or low-carbon energy been incorporated, to contribute to the energy supply of development?
- Has existing and potential infrastructure (water supply, sewage and sewerage, waste management and community infrastructure such as schools and hospitals) been incorporated to service the site in ways consistent with cutting carbon dioxide emissions.
- Will the proposals build and sustain socially cohesive communities, with appropriate community infrastructure to enable these communities to contribute effectively to tackling climate change?
- Has the effect of development on biodiversity and its capacity to adapt to likely changes in the climate been considered?
- Have existing and new opportunities for open space and green infrastructure for urban cooling, sustainable drainage systems, and conserving and enhancing biodiversity been provided?
- Have known physical and environmental constraints such as sea level rises, flood risk and stability been considered, and a precautionary approach been taken to increases in flood risk that could arise as a result of likely changes to the climate?
- Has competitiveness and technological innovation in mitigating and adapting to climate change been encouraged?
The amount of detail should be proportionate to the size of the scheme. For small projects, very little information is required; for larger projects a greater level of detail and analysis should be included.