Statement on the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26)

Global leaders are convening over the next two weeks for a critical United Nations Climate Change Conference. The COP26 meetings come at a pivotal moment and present an important opportunity to renew, expand, and accelerate commitments and policies to combat the climate emergency. The American Planning Association (APA) has joined with partners and allies across the international spectrum of planning and built environment organizations to raise the call for new action.

Planning is essential to this fight. Advancing planning-led solutions will enable countries and communities to meet climate goals and a net zero emission future. Better planned communities can help lower emissions from both buildings and transportation, adapt vulnerable communities to changing conditions, and ensure that social equity is an essential part of addressing climate change.

Now is an essential moment where global commitments, national policies, and local planning must all work together to meet the demands of confronting and combating climate change and its impacts on people, places, and our planet. As COP26 convenes, the planning community reaffirms and redoubles our commitment to tackling the climate crisis. From adopting new certification requirements to developing policy and research guidance for practitioners and policymakers, APA is committed to equipping planners and communities to meet the challenge of climate change.