7 December 2020

A graphic showing a street scene by the sea, with the title 'A roadmap to creating a net-zero Devon, where people and nature thrive'

Residents have the chance to shape the county's roadmap to net-zero by taking part in the Interim Devon Carbon Plan Consultation.

The consultation, which opens on Monday, December 7 and runs for 10 weeks, gives the public an opportunity to influence Devon's collective response to the global climate emergency and create a healthier, fairer and stronger Devon.

The consultation follows a series of hearings and more than 893 submissions of ideas and evidence from the public.

It's the next crucial step towards producing the Final Devon Carbon Plan, which once published, will enshrine what every Devon citizen, business and organisation has to do to ensure that Devon becomes net-zero.

The plan is being developed by the Net-Zero Task Force, a top-team of experts appointed by the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG). The DCERG is a partnership of councils, emergency services, voluntary organisations and business groups.

Consultees are asked to go to the Devon Climate Emergency website and review the Interim plan which includes the transformational changes needed to create a thriving net-zero Devon.

They are then asked to indicate to what extent they agree with each of the proposed actions listed. All the actions are based on the latest evidence and address the suggestions from the public call for evidence.

The topics range from active travel, renewable energy, and improved air quality to better insulation and warmer homes, reduced fuel poverty and eating more balanced diets.

Additionally, they highlight issues that are more challenging to implement. These will be prioritised for discussion at the Citizens' Assembly in 2021 to ensure that the recommendations in the Final Devon Carbon Plan reflect the views of Devon's citizens.

South Hams District Council's Leader, Cllr Judy Pearce, said: "South Hams District Council are proud to be one of the 25 organisations which make up the Devon Climate Emergency (DCE) partnership. As a Council, we have committed to work with partners through the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group to aim to reduce the District of South Hams' carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 at the latest. This partnership across Devon will be critical to reaching this aim. It recognises that much of what needs to be done is beyond the ability of any one authority. It's only through collaboration and partnerships that this important work can be done most effectively.

"Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic continues to place burdens upon Councils of all sizes, and has somewhat slowed down some of our work throughout 2020,  I commend the dedication of those involved with the Devon Carbon Plan process to continue to work on this plan, which will form an important part of our own Climate Change Strategy in the future."

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council, added: "Here in West Devon we are custodians of an amazing and beautiful natural environment.  We're all very aware of the dangers of climate change and the need to reduce our carbon emissions. 

"The DCE consultation is your chance to have your say on how this emergency should be tackled in Devon, whether that be giving your views on active travel, renewable energy, and improved air quality to better insulation and warmer homes and reduced fuel poverty.  Please take part and have your say on the most important issue of our time."

Professor Patrick Devine-Wright, the chair of the Net-Zero Task Force, said: "Since the pandemic began the Carbon Plan has grown beyond the necessity to reduce carbon emissions.

"It is now a rare opportunity to create a fairer, healthier, more resilient and more prosperous society.

"For instance, actions like a transition to clean technologies will create new jobs, improve energy security and will help increase economic prosperity.

"While enhancing the natural environment offers tremendous opportunities to reduce flood risk, improve water and air quality, the availability of nutritious food and will create more accessible greenspace.

"Ultimately it's up to all of us as Devon's citizens. The more people who take part in the consultation from all walks of life and all parts of Devon, the stronger our argument becomes, the more momentum we create and the more likely we are to realise our goals.

"It's your carbon plan, and what you think really matters."

Dr Phil Norrey, chair of DCERG, said: "I would like to thank the members of the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group and the Net-Zero Taskforce for their work.

"The science is clear, our planet is warming at an alarming rate and the crisis can only be managed through collective action.

"The Interim Devon Carbon Plan is Devon's proposed collective response and every person, every business and every organisation has a stake in this process. I urge everyone to take the time and look at what is being proposed and to give their views."

You can view the Interim Carbon Plan and the consultation questionnaire at the Devon Climate Emergency website from Monday, December 7, 2020, by following this link.

You can obtain a paper copy: