Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Meeting, 21st June 2022

Attendees

Doug Eltham                           Devon County Council (Environment Group)

John Amosford                        Public Health Devon

Mark Kentell                            North Devon District Council

David Eaton                            Teignbridge District Council

Charlotte Brown                      Devon Climate Emergency

James Cooper                        Environment Agency

Polly Frost                               Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)

Emily Reed                             Devon Climate Emergency

Alex Gandy                             Dartmoor National Park Authority

Emmanuelle Marshall             Plymouth City Council

David Edmondson                  Torbay Council

Victoria Hatfield                       Exeter City Council

Keir Duffin                               Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)

Adam Williams                        South Hams and West Devon Councils

Claire Gibson                          Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership

Harry Barton                           Devon Wildlife Trust

Angus Berry                            South West Water

Jason Ball                               Mid Devon District Council

Donna Sibley                          Torridge and North Devon District Councils

Sarah Fear                              University of Plymouth

Richard Pemberton                 University of Plymouth

 

Apologies

Phil Norrey                              Devon County Council

Janet Williams                        Torridge District Council

Mark Clapham                        Devon Association of Local Councils

Andrew Butler                         National Farmers’ Union

Rebecca Miller                        Plymouth City Council

Sara Gibbs                              Public Health Devon

David Bartram                         Exeter City Council

Neil Hamlyn                            Local Resilience Forum

Chris Clarke                            Wales and West Utilities

Bruce Newport                        Environment Agency

Drew Powell                            South Hams and West Devon District Councils

1. Low-Carbon Marine Propulsion

The Group received a presentation from Richard Pemberton and Sarah Fear from the University of Plymouth. A summary of which is:

  • In autumn 2020 the UK’s first electric passenger ferry named E-Voyager became operational in Plymouth. Powered by lithium batteries.
  • In addition to this, the Mountbatten Ferry was converted to electric propulsion using lead-acid batteries. This launched early 2021. It can run for 3 days without a full charge – just relying on solar panels trickle charging the batteries. This has been in operation without any major issues.
  • Three electric charging stations have been installed. The Barbican has a 25kW charger. MDL Marina has a 75kW charger. Mountbatten Landing Stage has a 150kW charger.
  • Technology projections suggest vessels under 12m will be electrified. Above 12m will need a hybrid approach. The Green Tech Boat Show showed that there is a full supply chain of SMEs looking at propulsion and funds.

Comments from the Group:

Claire explained how this agenda fits within the Local Enterprise Partnership’s Ocean Future’s theme. There’s an aspiration for a charging network along the south coast so that vessels don’t have to return to their home port.

Emily asked about sail propulsion for larger vessels. Richard said the industry is developing this approach but there needs to be more appetite from ship operators. The design work for sail power tends to be focused around the Solent. Richard added that there is a local company in Devon providing hydrogen injection tech to improve fuel burn being used on some trawlers out of Brixham.

Polly noted that Devon County Council has awarded an innovation grant to EV Parts in North Devon to look at developing technology for smaller vessels.

David Edmondson asked how long the chargepost installations took. Sarah said they took 7 months, with most of the time being focussed on legal agreements. Depending on the issues at site (e.g. sub-station capacity or listed status or heritage assets) the costs per charge post can range from £9k to £400k.

Alex asked what the business case looks like vs internal combustion. Sarah said that the business case is still in favour of internal combustion but that it will develop. Maintenance costs are significantly reduced which will be attractive to commercial operators particularly.

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

3. Project Progress Report

The Group accepted the Progress Report.

4. Partner Updates

Alex said that Dartmoor National Park is part of a project with Defra to prepare carbon footprints for each of the national parks. The Park is also looking at setting science based targets for its geography.

Appendix 1 – Project Progress Report 

Period: May to June 2022

Status Indicator Key:  

? [RED] = Significant issue that requires Response Group intervention;  

? [AMBER] = Minor issue that will initially be managed by the secretariat, but the Response Group should be aware;  

? [GREEN] = No issue.  

1. Partnership Update 

1.1 General Project Communications [GREEN] 

1.1.1 Following 

Growth was 1% over the past month. Charlotte Brown, the project’s new Climate Engagement Officer, will be developing content to get the following increasing at a faster rate.

Figure 1.1. DCE Social Media Following

1.1.2 Campaigns

County Show

  • Plans are developing. The focus will be on resources in partnership with Recycle Devon, highlighting the work of community action groups on repair cafes and share sheds.

Cycling campaign in September

  • Collaboration with Active Devon, Travel Devon & Devon CC’s Environment Group to deliver a month-long campaign around cycling this September
  • There will be community rides lead by community cycling groups, development of re-usable assets and opportunities for cycle confidence training

Devon-Wide Community Engagement

At its latest meeting in May, the Community Engagement Sub-Group heard from Devon Communities Together about its Asset-Based Community Development model. The Sub-Group learned that the approach is very similar to the Community Action Groups model run by Devon CC. The Sub-Group has nominated Devon County Council and Plymouth City Council to bring a proposal back to them to enhance this activity across Devon. A meeting occurred on the 10th June to progress this. 

Separately, Plymouth City Council has submitted conglomerate application between six partners to the Local Government Association’s Behavioural Insights Programme to receive funding to trial a behaviour change intervention about home energy efficiency.

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

Activity is recorded centrally on the Taking Action pages of the Devon Climate Emergency website. Lots of activity to report this month!

  • University of Exeter has received £943k from Research England to decarbonise a new research facility.
  • The University of Exeter is part of an exciting new partnership that will help decarbonise the electricity system in Great Britain and accelerate progress towards Net Zero.
  • New study shows benefits of floating offshore wind for the south west.

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update 

2.1 Devon Carbon Plan [GREEN]

The Economy and Resources section of the Plan has been redrafted and circulated to partners to identify any remaining fundamental issues or inaccuracies. Comments need to be received by the secretariat by the end of June.

The Centre for Energy and Environment at the University of Exeter has started re-modelling the Action Diagrams.

We remain on schedule to have the Devon Carbon Plan available for organisations to consider adopting from the end of August 2022. 

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly Resolutions [GREEN]

The full consultation report is online, having been signed-off by the Response Group in May. The partnership’s proposals will be incorporated into the final Devon Carbon Plan. 

3. Climate Impacts Group Update [AMBER]

The evaluation of the tender to recruit a consultant to help prepare the Adaptation Plan has completed. Plymouth City Council assisted with the evaluation. The successful contractor will be notified imminently.

The Adaptation Strategy is expected to be completed within 6 months of awarding the tender.

4. Devolution Update

We continue to wait for a response from government on the first application stage. Doug Eltham has been asked by Team Devon to start developing the ideas submitted in the application into fuller proposals. This is going to need external support, which is currently being explored. The additional detail is required by the end of July. Partners will be approached over the next 6 weeks to assist with this.

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.
  • The consultation report on the partnership’s response to the Devon Climate Assembly has been published.  
  • The final version of the Devon Carbon Plan continues to be prepared for its August deadline.
  • The tender to recruit a contractor to assist with the Adaptation Plan is being evaluated.