Environmental protection requires planning
How planning law can do more to protect climate, biodiversity and undeveloped land
Are investors allowed to erect new shopping centres on greenfield land? Where may they build wind energy systems that serve to protect the climate? When is priority to be given to nature conservation? The authorities of the federal states, cities, and municipalities take recourse to planning law in their decision-making. Planning instruments such as the German statutory code of building and construction serve to protect the climate, biodiversity and undeveloped land, and public offices must make rigorous use of these instruments to that end. ”Environmental protection begins at the local level as municipalities are responsible for protecting global climate as early as the land-use planning phase”, said the President of the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), Prof. Dr. Andreas Troge, at a symposium co-hosted in Berlin by the Academy for Nature Preservation and Environmental Protection of Baden-Wuerttemberg and UBA. ”Municipalities ought to take advantage of the legal means in place and thus help to tackle global problems at the local level. All planners are called upon to do more to protect the environment”, said Troge. What cities and towns can do, for example, is to promote efficient combined heat and power generation for the production of electricity and heat, and to include their residential areas in local and district heating supply grids and thus take direct action to protect the climate.