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DCERG Minutes 18th December

Devon Climate Emergency Response Group – minutes of meeting 18th December 2019.
Download a PDF copy of the minutes here.


Phil Norrey, Devon County Council (Chair)
Doug Eltham, Devon County Council
Janet Williams, Torridge District Council
Emily Bullock, South Western Ambulance Service Trust
Emily Reed, Devon County Council
Peter Chamberlain, Devon County Council
Andy England, Torbay Council
Bruce Luxton, Exeter City Council
Tracey Polak, Public Health Devon
Nicki Collas, Devon and Cornwall Police
Patrick Devine-Wright, University of Exeter
David Eaton, Teignbridge District Council
Helen Dobby, Environment Agency
Ken Miles, North Devon District Council
Paul Cottington, National Farmers’ Union
Theresa Farrill, Devon Clinical Commissioning Group
Drew Powell, South Hams and West Devon Councils
Mike Stamp, Devon and Cornwall Police


James Szymankiewicz, Natural Devon
Virginia Pearson, Devon Public Health
Amanda Palmer, Devon County Council
Cara Stobart, Devon Association of Local Councils
Emma Page, University of Exeter

Matters Arising from the Minutes

The minutes of the previous meeting were AGREED as a true record of the discussion.

a. Revised Terms of Reference to include wider ecological impacts

Peter Chamberlain presented revised Terms of Reference for the project which incorporate the ecological aspects of the climate emergency.

The revised Terms of Reference were AGREED.

ACTION: Doug Eltham to publish the revised Terms of Reference for the project on the Devon Climate Emergency website.  

b. Resourcing for communications

A Climate Emergency Communications Graduate has been appointed and will be in post on the 13th January. The post holder will work with all of the partners and will initially be helping Emily Reed produce a communications plan.

c. Using the Climate Emergency as a Planning Consideration

Andy Wood, Chair of the Greater Exeter Low Carbon Task Force, is determining the resource needed to undertake an immediate legal review of the implications of using the climate emergency as a planning consideration, which will be brought back to the DCERG for sign-off.

The DCERG AGREED that we don’t want to be duplicating effort and it maybe that South West Councils and ADEPT may be looking at this issue, both of which have climate themed conferences in January.

ACTION: Doug Eltham to determine if others are already reviewing this issue.

Update from the Net-Zero task Force

Patrick Devine-Wright provided an update. The Call for Evidence remains open on the website (almost 500 submissions so far) and the Thematic Hearings are complete.

Ken Miles asked how this compares with other areas implementing similar processes.

ACTION: Doug Eltham to contact other authorities that have operated a public submissions process to find out how the 500 submissions compares with other areas.

Paul Cottington asked if we know where the submissions have been coming from geographically. Doug Eltham said that we don’t, and Patrick added that rural issues are appearing strongly in the submissions so far.

Phil Norrey and the DCERG thanked Patrick and the other volunteer members of the Task Force for the sense of urgency that they have instilled into the process in completing the hearings on a challenging time scale.

Design of the Citizens’ Assembly

The University of Exeter has produced a rapid evidence review recommending how the Citizens’ Assembly should operate. Patrick Devine-Wright provided a summary.

It was AGREED to:

  1. Endorse the recommendations outlined in the University of Exeter report.
  2. Note the recommendations received to date arising from the consultation of local-authority elected members.
  3. Assign the role of determining the final design of the citizens’ assembly to the independent Net-Zero Task Force on the premise that the final design does not deviate significantly from the recommendations in the University of Exeter report, and that the final design should consider the recommendations from the local-authority elected members in the context of the report’s evidence.

[Note: some local authorities will be providing recommendations in January]

  • Ask the Net-Zero Task Force, via its secretariat, to report back to local-authority elected members on how it considered their recommendations.
  • Mandate Devon County Council to begin procurement of the citizens’ assembly recruitment and facilitation services in its role as the contracting authority.

It was further AGREED that it would be appropriate to over sample Devon’s rural geography in the make-up of the Citizens’ Assembly membership and for population geography data to be presented at the next DCERG meeting for discussion.

ACTION: Secretariat to implement the decisions above.

To allow enough time for procurement and recruitment and to avoid the Easter holidays, the Assembly is likely to meet during May and June 2020.

Helen Dobby advised that the Environment Agency would welcome a further conversation about how it can provide assistance to the climate emergency process in Devon. Phil Norrey thanked Helen for this offer.

ACTION: Doug Eltham to follow this up with Helen Dobby.

Update on the Climate Impacts Group

  • A Local Resilience Forum (LRF) workshop on the 16th October 2019 explored the latest climate change projections for Devon.
  • The LRF has identified the risks within the Community Risk Register that will be impacted by climate change.
  • The Met Office has produced a draft report outlining the latest climate projections.

This Met Office report will subsequently be used by the University of Exeter, Public Health England and the Environment Agency to understand the implications of climate change for different sectors.

Natural Devon will also make use of the Met Office report to review the effects of projected climate change on the natural environment.

A meeting of the Climate Impacts Group in January 2020 will:

  • Review the Met Office report and agree the detail of the further analysis to be undertaken by the listed partners.
  • Revise the Climate Impacts Group’s Terms of Reference to reflect the DCERG’s October 2019 decision to incorporate the ecological emergency and the need for a broader climate adaptation plan into the Devon Climate Emergency project.
  • Determine the resources required in various organisations, including Natural Devon, and report back to the DCERG

Local Updates

Partner organisations provided brief updates of activity contributing to the implementation of the Devon Climate Declaration.

Next Meeting

The next meeting is December 16th January 12:00 – 13:00 .

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