12. Making the Plan Reality

12. Making the Plan Reality

The preparation of this Plan involved extensive collaboration between the Devon Climate Emergency partners, the Net-Zero Task Force, individuals and communities who responded to the Call for Evidence and the community of experts who gave their experience and knowledge at the Thematic Hearings. 

The ambition is that the implementation of this Plan will be equally collaborative. No single organisation or community can bring about the transformative social and economic changes that are needed to reach net-zero carbon: different sections of Devon society need to work together and take ownership for the parts of the net-zero challenge that they have influence over or wish to become involved in – as partnerships, organisations, communities and individuals.

Our goal is that everyone in Devon will know about this Plan and feel that they can play an active role in its implementation. We encourage every individual, organisation and community, including the Devon Climate Emergency partner, to look at the actions and make their own action list by selecting the actions they are most able to help with to achieve net-zero emissions across Devon. 

It is also imperative to coordinate our actions to ensure that everyone involved in helping to deliver the plan works in complementary ways towards agreed objectives. Among other things, this will require organisations and individuals involved to develop plans that are appropriate to the scale of their influence and responsibilities. As part of the consultation on this Plan, the Devon Climate Emergency partners would like to know what actions are on your individual, organisation or community list, and what you have already been doing to deliver the actions and outcomes contained in this Plan. We will keep a log of your activities and publish these online, with your permission, so that your initiatives can be shared as part of the collective response to the Devon Climate Emergency.

All organisations operating in Devon are invited to sign the Devon Climate Declaration on the Devon Climate Emergency website to show their support for taking action.

Achieving net-zero carbon in Devon by 2050 will require substantial investment, but there are major economic opportunities and necessity for the private and community sectors to develop innovative business models and green finance products to help fund the transformations to Devon’s energy system, homes and workplaces, the way we communicate and travel, food systems and the management of Devon’s countryside. We have identified actions throughout this Plan that will see partners working together to facilitate the creation and uptake of investment opportunities. 

This Plan does not calculate the total investment required, but our analysis of the Committee on Climate Change net-zero scenario for 2050 indicates that the net cost (the sum of the costs minus the financial benefits) of achieving a net-zero carbon Devon by 2050 will be approximately £895m per year. This is essentially the funding required for which there are not currently financial investment opportunities. There will be opportunities for technological innovation over the next three decades to reduce this cost, but it is still likely there will remain substantial costs to be sought from philanthropic grant funding and the public sector, principally national government, via taxation. This Plan highlights the opportunities for public sector investment which we would like to work with national government to develop, many of which can respond to the concept of Building Back Better as the UK and Devon respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Devon Carbon Plan is being prepared by a collaboration of over 25 organisations with input from people across Devon. Many more people and organisations will be involved in its implementation. The existing governance arrangements have been appropriate for managing the development of the Plan, and the emerging Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan, but the implementation of the programme of projects in the two plans will need something different to provide strategic oversight of the Plan’s progress as a whole. The structure will need to aid collaboration, have representation from all corners and sectors of Devon and ensure opportunities to work with regional partners and government are harnessed.

Figure 12.1 shows suggested governance arrangements to encourage discussion. The Devon Climate Emergency partners welcome your thoughts and feedback on this and your suggestions for alternative arrangements. 


Within these suggested arrangements, the day-to-day implementation of projects would be managed by the organisation leading each individual project. The Theme Boards, comprising community representatives, volunteer specialists (similar to those form the Net-Zero Task Force) and specialist staff from the partner organisations, would oversee progress with the implementation of the programme of projects relevant to their theme. Each quarter they would receive a report from the project managers highlighting progress and any issues arising. The Theme Boards would take action to help resolve issues where they are able. Where issues are outside the control of the Theme Boards, these would be raised to the Multi-Theme Board and/or Response Group as appropriate. 

The Multi-Theme Board principally comprised of the chairs of the Theme Boards and a select number of additional key representatives, would: 1) provide an opportunity for the cross-fertilisation of ideas; 2) ensure the programme of cross-cutting actions identified in the Plan being monitored; 3) enable issues to be discussed that the Theme Boards are unable to resolve alone; and 4). work with the
secretariat in coordinating, monitoring and reporting on delivery to the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group.

The Devon Climate Emergency Response Group would reduce its meeting frequency from every month (has done since May 2019)) to quarterly. It will continue to provide an opportunity for senior leaders from key organisations across Devon to discuss progress, make programme decisions, seize on collaboration opportunities and be engaged with significant implementation issues that require seniority to unblock. It will also function as the voice of the partnership with regional partners and government.

The Programme Secretariat, presently provided by Devon County Council, would enable the smooth running of the governance arrangements by liaising with the individual project managers to prepare quarterly reports for the Theme Boards, Multi-Theme Board and the Response Group. 

Partners’ formal democratic scrutiny processes and climate change working groups would continue to have a vital role in providing constructive and robust challenge to the Plan’s implementation and to the execution of individual projects their organisations may be leading. 

An independent Devon Climate Change Forum would provide impartial, oversight, challenge and advice on behalf of the people of Devon to all tiers of the governance structure, meeting once or twice each year. It would include community representation. Part of its role would be to scrutinise progress on an annual basis and make recommendations for the year

Figure 12.2 describes indicators for the purpose of monitoring the achievement of the Plan’s objectives at a strategic level. Most of the data is available from national government and local sources on an annual basis. Some indicators do not have data available yet and it may be that after exploring how the data can be obtained it will be realised that collecting data will not be possible, in which case alternatives will need be developed.

Objective Indicators Latest Baseline
Net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest and a 50% reduction in emissions by 2030 from 2010 levels 1. Devon’s net production greenhouse gas emissions 20187 7,848 ktCO2e
2. Devon’s consumption greenhouse gas emissions 20171 14,761 ktCO 2 e
3. Percentage reduction in Devon’s production greenhouse gas emissions since 2010 20182 -20%
4. Percentage reduction in Devon’s consumption greenhouse gas emissions since 2010 20171 -18%
5. Total followers on the Devon Climate Emergency social media platforms Nov 2020 2,866
6. Total subscribers to the Devon Climate Emergency newsletter Nov 2020 1,250
7. Number of entities endorsing the Devon Climate Declaration Nov 2020 63
8. Percentage of the community feeling well-informed and supported to reduce their own carbon emissions Data collection process to be established
9. Number of community organisations (e.g. Transition and Community Action Groups) acting locally for net-zero To be informed by consultation
10. Proportion of Devon’s energy consumption met by renewable energy generated within Devon 20173 6.7%
11. Total consumption of heat and transport (non-electricity) energy from fossil fuels burned in Devon 2017
a. Domestic Heat 5,489 GWh
b. Industrial and Commercial Heat 4,810 GWh
c. Road transport 8,179 GWh
12. Proportion of cars and light goods vehicles registered in Devon that are ultra-low emission (< 75gCO2/km) 20195 0.5%
13. Number of Devon’s homes with an Energy Performance Certificate of D – G 13. Jun 20206 262,047
14. Number of Devon’s commercial premises with an Energy Performance Certificate of D – G Jun 20206 12,540
15. Devon’s energy consumption 20174
a. Total 24,151 GWh
b. Transport 8,180 GWh
c. Domestic 7,621 GWh
d. Industrial and Commercial 7,401 GWh
16. Emissions from Product Use (HFCs, PFCs and SF6) in Devon 16. 2018z 199 ktCO2e
17. Emissions from landfill and biological treatment of waste and wastewater in Devon 20187 673 ktCO2e
18. Net-emissions from livestock and land use in Devon 20187 1,309 ktCO2e
19. Devon’s soil organic matter percentage 19 20. Data collection process to be established
20. Carbon sequestered in improved habitat in Devon from 2020
a. Terrestrial
b. Marine
21. Net carbon dioxide sequestered by land use, land use change and forestry in Devon 2018 -294 ktCO2
22. Investment in community-owned energy schemes in Devon 20188 £14.1 m
23. Proportion of households in fuel poverty 20189 10.6%
24. Proportion of Response Group procured-spend with entities registered with EX, PL or TQ postcodes Data collection process to be established
25. Number of non-profit organisations registered with EX, PL or TQ postcodes, providing goods and services to or for Response Group organisations
26. Number of Repair Cafes operating in Devon 26. To be informed by consultation
27. Number of Share Sheds operating in Devon To be informed by consultation
28. Total household waste collected in Devon 2018/1910 519.4 kt
29. Household waste collected per person 2018/1911
a. Devon County Council 441 kg
b. Plymouth City Council 401 kg
c. Torbay Council 429 kg
30. Percentage of household waste that is sent for reuse, recycling or composting 2018/1910
a. Devon County Council 56.0%
b. Plymouth City Council 35.3%
c. Torbay Council 41.2%
31. Commercial and industrial waste in the Devon County Council area 200912
a. Arising 455 kt
b. Recycling rate 55%
32. Construction, demolition and excavation waste in the Devon County Council area 201011
a. Arising 1,206 kt
b. Recycling rate 87%
33. Proportion of carbon produced from the burning of fossil fuels in Devon that is captured by carbon capture and storage technology 33. 2020 0%
Figure 12.2 Indicators to monitor the achievement of the Plan’s objectives

Now is the right time to set a target to achieve net-zero emissions and put in place a Plan to reach it.  The broad-based involvement of businesses, the public sector, voluntary organisations and communities working together will help to create a resilient, net-zero carbon Devon where people and nature thrive and will provide an example for other counties and regions as part of the wider collective effort to address climate change.

1Based on apportioning the UK Consumption Emissions to Devon using GVA as a normalising factor.  UK Consumption Emissions from DEFRA (Unknown), UK’s Carbon Footprint 1997- 2017 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/882939/Consumption_emissions_March_20_v9.pdf 
2 2010 emissions from Lash, D. et al. (2020) Net Zero Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, Centre for Energy and Environment, University of Exeter. Available at: https://devonclimateemergency.org.uk/studies-and-data/net-zero-devon-plymouth-and-torbay-reports/. 2018 emissions from Mitchell A. et al. (2020) Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report – Devon, Plymouth, Torbay 2018. Centre for Energy and Environment, University of Exeter. 
3 Calculated by the Net Zero Task Force from multiple sources. 
4 BEIS (2019), Estimates of total final energy consumption from 2005 to 2017 at a regional (NUTS1) and a local (LAU1 – formally NUTS4) level. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/total-final-energy-consumption-at-regional-and-local-authority-level 
5Calculated from DfT (2020), Data on all licensed and registered vehicles [online]. URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/all-vehicles-veh01 
6MHCLG (2020) Energy Performance of Buildings Data England and Wales. Available at: https://epc.opendatacommunities.org &
7 Mitchell A. et al. (2020) Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report – Devon, Plymouth, Torbay 2018. Centre for Energy and Environment, University of Exeter. 
8 Regen (2018) Devon Community Energy Impact Report, Regen. Available at: https://www.regen.co.uk/publications/devon-community-energy-impact-report-2018/ 
9 BEIS (2020), Sub-Regional Fuel Poverty, 2018 data. Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/sub-regional-fuel-poverty-data-2020 
10 Defra (2020), Local authority collected waste generation from April 2000 to March 2019 (England and regions) and local authority data April 2018 to March 2019. Table 1: Local Authority Collected and Household Waste Statistics 2014-15 to 2018-19, England. URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/env18-local-authority-collected-waste-annual-results-tables
11 Defra (2020), Local authority collected waste generation from April 2000 to March 2019 (England and regions) and local authority data April 2018 to March 2019. Table 3 – Selected Waste Indicators. URL: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/env18-local-authority-collected-waste-annual-results-tables 
12 Devon County Council (2014) Devon Waste Plan. Available at: https://www.devon.gov.uk/planning/planning-policies/minerals-and-waste-policy/devon-waste-plan