Effective planning

Climate change planning can be considered under seven headings. This is based on recommendations in the document Better Policy-Making [1] from the UK Cabinet Office.

1. Decide on the vision

Ignoring any current constraints, decide on the long term vision, even if it takes decades to get there. Take into account best practice:

It may be worth setting some intermediate objectives.

2. Assess the current situation including previous actions

Give an honest (i.e. unbiased and complete) account of the current situation. How far short of the vision is it?

What has been done previously? How effective was it?

3. Assess possible options amd make a selection

What has been tried elsewhere? How effective was it?

From the options, select a set of measures that are likely to achieve the vision based on evidence of what works, giving reasons for what was chosen and what was omitted.

Consider the most vulnerable. What special measures are needed for them? If the plan works for them, it probably works for everyone.

4. Decide on timescales and allocation of resources

The resources need to be sufficient to implement the measures selected

5. Use consultation to optimise the plan

Nobody is perfect. The first draft of a plan is likely to be flawed. Ask for views from others on how the plan can be improved. Include public consultation where appropriate.

6. Monitor and review periodically

Monitor the plan after launch to ensure that the agreed measures are implemented and that they are having the desired effect. For example, a quarterly or an annual review might be needed.

7. Insist on the best standards in administration

Is there relentless pursuit of excellence, or mere "box-ticking"?


[1]Better Policy-Making (2001) Cabinet Office, UK. https://www.carbonindependent.org/files/betterpolicymaking.pdf

First published: Aug 2019
Last updated: 21 Aug 2019