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Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Meeting, 28th September 2022

Attendees

Meg Booth
Doug Eltham
Emily Reed
Charlotte Brown
Sara Gibbs
Chris Clarke
Victoria Hatfield
David Eaton
Rebecca Miller
Steven Crampton
David Edmondson
Claire Gibson
Mark Clapham
James Cooper
Zoe Smith
Jason Ball
Polly Frost
Mark Kentell
David Bartram
Devon County Council (Chair)
Devon County Council (Environment Group)
Devon Climate Emergency
Devon Climate Emergency
Public Health Devon
Wales and West
Exeter City Council
Teignbridge District Council
Plymouth City Council
Met Office
Torbay Council
Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership
Devon Association of Local Councils
Environment Agency
Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)
Mid Devon District Council
Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)
North Devon District Council
Exeter City Council

Apologies

Neil Hamlyn
Drew Powell
John Amosford
Emmanuelle Marshall
Harry Barton
Angus Berry
Donna Sibley
Andrew Butler
Janet Williams
Tim Jones
Adam Williams
Gill Westcott
Alex Gandy
Local Resilience Forum
South Hams and West Devon District Councils
Public Health Devon
Plymouth City Council
Devon Wildlife Trust
South West Water
Torridge and North Devon District Councils
National Farmers’ Union
Torridge District Council
South West Business Council
South Hams and West Devon Councils
New Prosperity Devon
Dartmoor National Park Authority

1. Introductions

Meg introduced herself as the newly-appointed chair of the Response Group. Meg is the Director for Climate Change, Environment and Transport at Devon County Council.

Other attendees introduced themselves to Meg.

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting had not been circulated previously. Members can send requests for amendments to Doug.      

Emily said that she had not had the time to submit a response to the Public Sector Food and Catering Policy consultation. Claire said the Local Enterprise Partnership and submitted a response and would share this with the Group.

ACTION: Claire to share the LEP’s response to government’s Public Sector Food and Catering Policy consultation with the Group.

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.

No further questions asked.

ACTION: Charlotte to speak with David about promotional opportunities for Torbay.

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.

Emily added that engagement with the business community surrounding the launch of the Devon Carbon Plan will initially be via the Quick Read version of the Plan. This will be refined for a business audience and distributed via the South West Business Council membership with a call to action to sign the Devon Climate Declaration.

Meg praised the Partnership for the milestone of publishing the Plan.

3.3 Climate Impacts Group Update

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

3. Energy Planning in Blaenau Gwent Business Parks

Chris presented the process and conclusions of an energy planning exercise. This was in the context of the need to prepare an Energy Plan for Devon.

The Blaenau Gwent exercise used the Whole Energy System Simulator developed by the Energy Networks Association. The Simulator uses a model called Pathfinder. It’s a spreadsheet that simulates the supply and demand on a defined local energy system for each half hour over a year.

The conclusions:

  • Matching supply and demand is essential to keep the costs to the consumer of the net-zero transition down.
  • Wind and solar deployment are ‘no regrets’ measures, but only to a point.
  • Battery storage has a short-term role but energy is still wasted at times of low demand if it’s the only storage technology available
  • Using wasted energy to produce hydrogen as a storage mechanism can achieve 95% decarbonisation by 2050 at a cost of £700 per annum/consumer, whereas deploying enough renewables to meet demand will cost £3000/annum/consumer.
  • Hydrogen can then be used when supply from renewables is low and demand is high. Hybrid heat pumps that rely on 80% electricity and 20% hydrogen form part of the hydrogen scenario.

By answering questions from the Group, Chris added that:

  • The gas network will be 100% plastic by 2032, which is capable of transporting 100% hydrogen gas. The cost of this upgrade is included in the Pathfinder model.
  • It doesn’t matter where on the electricity network the batteries are deployed – they just have to be in the electricity network somewhere. But using electric vehicles as storage devices is a good solution.
  • Within the modelling it was agreed with local stakeholders that offshore wind and nuclear generation were treated as national assets.
  • Homes using hydrogen for 100% of heating needs is not cost effective, but using it in a hybrid setting with electricity is.

5. Timetable for New Governance Arrangements

Emily presented the timetable to transition the Partnership to the new governance arrangements that were agreed at the previous Response Group meeting. The timetable will aim to have the new arrangements in place by February 2023.

The Group AGREED the timetable.

Appendix 1 – Project Progress Report 

Period: August to September 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 

Total follower growth remains at around 2%. Newsletter follower growth is still increasing, and we have just surpassed 3000 newsletter followers.

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

1.1.2 Campaigns

Cycling campaign in September

  • Collaboration with Active Devon, Travel Devon & Devon CC’s Environment Group to deliver a month-long campaign around cycling this month
  • There will be community rides lead by community cycling groups, development of re-usable assets and opportunities for cycle confidence training.
  • Meetups and events from several community groups will be promoted by DCE throughout September alongside information about how cycling is a great option for eco-friendly travel.

Launching the Devon Carbon Plan

  • The Devon Carbon Plan was launched and made available to the public via our website on Tuesday 27th September.
  • A campaign to launch the plan involves the development of a comm’s toolkit that has been shared with partners and other interested parties, a press release, and social media posts and Q+As (Instagram on 27th September and Twitter on 4th October).
  • A webinar will also be held on the evening of the 28th September.

Challenge-setters for the University of Exeter

  • DCE are acting as one of several challenge-setters for the University of Exeter’s second year Thinktank module.
  • DCE will be presenting to and interacting with the students from September to December. The students will be researching the question, “What is required to enable and encourage young people, including university students, to adopt more net-zero habits and lifestyles?” on behalf of DCE.

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 work has been picked up again after a summer hiatus whilst the focus was on the Carbon Plan.

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity

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

  • Devon County, Torbay and Teignbridge District councils submit funding bid for new South Devon cycleway
  • Devon County Council develops IT system to reduce emissions from highway maintenance
  • Low Carbon Devon working with range of Devon businesses stepping into the green economy
  • Ruby Country Net-Zero Beef Farming Forum release their final report

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update [GREEN]

Final amendments to the Carbon Plan are complete. The Task Force approved the document at its August meeting and the Response Group gave sign-off on the 25th

Partners, as well as organisations beyond the partnership, are encouraged to endorse the Plan through their governance arrangements during the autumn.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update [GREEN]

RSK has completed its first draft of the climate risk register and has shared this with the Climate Impacts Group for comment. Sub-groups are now being scheduled over the next month for colleagues to meet in themed groups to discuss magnitude and urgency scoring.

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. Thank you to partners who provided further information for these. The proposals are now being refined by Team Devon. Current proposals have been shared with the Response Group for information.

5. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Carbon Plan.
  • The final version of the Devon Carbon Plan has been signed off and was published on the 27th September.
  • The continuation of the preparation of the Adaptation Plan is now underway.

         

                                             

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