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Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Meeting, 25th August 2022


Phil Norrey
Doug Eltham
Emily Reed
Charlotte Brown
Sara Gibbs
Chris Clarke
Andrew Butler
Janet Williams
Tim Jones
David Bartram
Keir Duffin
Adam Williams
Polly Frost
Rebecca Miller
Claire Gibson
Mark Clapham
Gill Westcott
Alex Gandy    
Devon County Council
Devon County Council (Environment Group)
Devon Climate Emergency
Devon Climate Emergency
Public Health Devon
Wales and West
National Farmers’ Union
Torridge District Council
South West Business Council
Exeter City Council
Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)
South Hams and West Devon Councils
Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)
Plymouth City Council
Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership
Devon Association of Local Councils
New Prosperity Devon
Dartmoor National Park Authority 


David Edmondson
Steven Crampton
David Eaton
Mark Kentell
James Cooper
Neil Hamlyn
Drew Powell
John Amosford
Emmanuelle Marshall
Victoria Hatfield
Harry Barton
Angus Berry
Jason Ball
Donna Sibley
Torbay Council
Met Office
Teignbridge District Council
North Devon District Council
Environment Agency
Local Resilience Forum
South Hams and West Devon District Councils
Public Health Devon
Plymouth City Council
Exeter City Council
Devon Wildlife Trust
South West Water
Mid Devon District Council
Torridge and North Devon District Councils

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

2. Future Chair of the Response Group    

Phil reported that no nominations for other partner organisations to chair the Group had been received and therefore Devon County Council will continue with the Chair. Whether this will be the Interim Chief Executive or the Director for Climate Change, Environment and Transport has yet to be determined.

3. Project Progress Report      

3.1 General Project Communications

Charlotte provided an update reflecting Section 1.1 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

Tim Jones said that engaging businesses, such as Mole Valley Farmers, that have thousands of customers could be helpful. Other prominent businesses such as Gregory’s Transport could help, too. Claire suggested that specific engagement of business during the launch of the Carbon Plan would be helpful.

ACTION: Charlotte and Emily to determine how to engage business during the Plan launch.

Sara asked for partners to have a slide deck to help communicate the Plan.

ACTION: Emily to prepare a slide deck for partners.

3.2 Net-Zero Task Force Update

Emily provided an update reflecting Section 2.1 and 2.2 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes and invited questions.

Tim added that the work behind the scenes to prepare the Carbon Plan has been prodigious and thanked Doug, Emily and Charlotte.  

3.3 Climate Impacts Group Update

Emily provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

Phil noted that the partnership needs to ensure the prominence of adaptation continues to increase given the global events over the past year, which are still continuing.

4. Devon Carbon Plan Sign-Off

Phil asked the Group if members are happy to sign-off the Devon Carbon Plan for publication and subsequent endorsement by partners.

Chris and Polly said it’s an excellent report. Chris added that given the new governance arrangements will reduce formal meetings to quarterly it will be important to retain focus on the cross cutting themes. Tim added that delivery will be a challenge – not least due to the investment required but also the skills opportunities that need to be developed quickly and the task for businesses to decarbonise their supply chains.

Doug said the partnership can keep the frequency of formal meetings under review.

Andrew said that whilst there are points of concern in the Food, Land and Sea chapter, particularly the detail on organic and regenerative food systems, he is happy for the Plan to proceed and will speak with Emily about specific items.

David said that the Plan is an excellent framework. Exeter would have liked to have seen more urban focus, but the flexibility of the approach means that we can provide that angle in our own Plan.

The Group AGREED to sign-off the Devon Carbon Plan and for it to be launched on the 15th September.

5. Devolution

Phil advised that Government is continuing with devolution. Team Devon will engage with government departments in the autumn. The Team Devon Asks are being developed for the end of September. Doug is leading the preparation of these and has circulated the Ask Templates to the Group. Feedback and further information is requested by the of August.

5. Response Group Chairing

Phil advised that devolution is continuing during the leadership election but we’ll have to wait to see what happens after the leadership election.

Doug thanked the Group for their input to the ‘devolution asks’ so far. Doug will distribute the Asks to the Group again in late September.

6. Partner Updates

Emily asked if the Devon Climate Emergency partnership should submit a consultation response to the Public Sector Food and Catering Policy consultation.

Andrew said that the NFU will submit a corporate response.

Claire said that the LEP will be submitting a response and can share that with Emily.

The Group AGREED for Emily to submit a response using the Devon Carbon Plan as a framework for the content.

ACTION: Emily to submit response to the Public Sector Food and Catering Policy consultation.

Tim said that the Celtic Sea Offshore Wind project offers great opportunities for Devon. One of these is seaweed farming on the seabed. Crown Estate are looking at licensing initiatives.

Appendix 1 – Project Progress Report 

Period: June to July 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 

The rate of growth has increased on all the platforms that we are actively using.

A line graph showing the Devon Climate Emergency Online Communications Following, which is steadily increasing
Figure 1.1. DCE Social Media Following

1.1.2 Campaigns

Net Zero Visions

  • Net Zero Visions brings together six communities with the creative industries and transition experts to produce positive ‘Visions’ of net-zero in 2050 using animation, illustration, interactive games, and public murals.
  • The Visions are now being finished and will be compiled into a book this month featuring authors’ essays, images of commissioned works and photography of communities involved. It will also contain Visions submitted by the public.
  • There was a community event in Plymouth last month, at which communities met with some of the creatives to see how the Visions are developing and offer feedback.

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.
  • Community groups have been contacted, so their meetups and events will be promoted by DCE throughout September alongside information about how cycling is a great option for eco-friendly travel.
  • Several videos have also been taken at a recent community cycling event, asking the public about their thoughts on cycling and why they love it. These will be shared by the campaign partners and ourselves on social media.

Devon-Wide Community Engagement

The Community Engagement Sub-Group nominated Devon County Council and Plymouth City Council to bring a proposal back to them to enhance the Community Action Group activity across Devon. This will be picked-up in September.  

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

Activity is recorded centrally on the Taking Action pages of the Devon Climate Emergency website.

  • Government will provide £1.5 million in core funding to the Great South West over the next three years, to fastrack green growth
  • The Plymouth City Council Planning Committee have unanimously approved the construction of a new community-owned solar farm next year
  • The University of Exeter, University of Plymouth and Plymouth Marjon University have reached the finals of the 2022 Green Gown Awards, which recognises excellence in sustainability across higher and further education
  • The Department for International Trade (DIT) has recognised the South West as a world leader in Smart and Sustainable Aviation
  • The Exeter Sustainability Awards have been launched to recognise businesses, community groups and individuals who are leading the way with their commitment to sustainable practice.
  • North Devon Council will be planting 24,000 new trees, expanding a community woodland in the Barnstaple area
  • The rollout of the Connecting Devon and Somerset (CDS) programme has connected another 2,500 homes and businesses in Devon and Somerset with full fibre broadband
  • After identifying a skills deficit in regenerative farming methods, the Apricot Centre was supported by Devon County Council to deliver a free pilot training programme in sustainable farming

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update [GREEN]

Final amendments to the Carbon Plan are complete. The Task Force will receive the document by the 11th August and the Response Group will be sent it by the 18th, ahead of its expected sign-off at the Response Group on the 25th

Subsequently, organisations can consider endorsing the Plan through their governance arrangements during the autumn.

Assuming it is signed-off, the Plan will be published on the website by mid-September.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update [GREEN]

RSK has been appointed as the consultant to help continue the preparation of the Adaptation Plan. A contract kick-off meeting has occurred.

The Adaptation Strategy is expected to be completed by January 2023.

4. Devolution Update

We continue to wait for a response from government on the first application stage. In the meantime, Doug Eltham has developed the climate-related ideas submitted in the application into fuller proposals. These have been circulated to the partnership for comment and additional information by the end of August.

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.
  • The final version of the Devon Carbon Plan remains on track to be signed-off on the 25th August.
  • The continuation of the preparation of the Adaptation Plan is now underway.



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