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An interview with Claire Pearce, new Chair of the Devon Climate Task Force

Claire Pearce

Claire Pearce, formerly Low Carbon Devon Project Manager now moving onto project management of the University of Plymouth’s new Net-Zero Exchange project, has begun her new role as Chair of the new Devon Climate Task Force.

The Devon Climate Task Force will use its specialist knowledge and experience to offer advice on and scrutiny of the implementation of both the Climate Adaptation Strategy and Devon Carbon Plan.

An Introduction From Claire

Please tell us a bit about yourself:

“I was actually born in Cornwall, but upon graduation from the University of Plymouth, I moved to London for 8 years, first working for a charity and then the University of East London. It was on their Docklands Campus that I got my first experience of sustainability knowledge exchange between universities and industry through their Sustainability Research Institute.

Upon reflection, my interest in the environment and climate change started way before this – with my A-levels in geography and biology. For geography, I studied the impact of wind farms on the local environment, visiting Delabole and the (then) new Cold Northcott installation near Launceston.  For biology, it was the impact of tree-planting on farmland soil.

Since moving back to Devon in 2009, I have worked at both the University of Plymouth and the University of Exeter, managing European-funded projects. And that is what brought me to net zero; the Sustainability Hub – Low Carbon Devon project, which I managed between 2019 and June 2023. The team delivered a variety of academic consultancy and also student/graduate internships to businesses throughout Devon, helping over 70 companies to start or progress along their low carbon journey.”

What are you looking forward to most about being the Chair of the Climate Task Force?

“I felt honoured to be asked to Chair the Climate Task Force in Devon and am looking forward to working with the other members, all of whom bring different expertise and skills to the team, to support the delivery of the Devon Carbon Plan and Climate Adaptation Strategy through our role of offering advice and scrutiny.”

What do you love most about Devon and why?

“We’re fortunate to live in Tavistock, which means that we are overlooked by Dartmoor and experience first-hand how the moor changes with the seasons; I love it! Being on the border means we have easy access to not just our moor, but the coast and I feel very lucky to be able to get out and about so easily.”

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