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Local authorities and various organisations in Devon have declared climate and ecological emergencies that aim to reach net-zero in Devon, reverse the associated declines to wildlife and ecosystems and prepare for the inevitable risks. The timescales for achieving ‘net-zero’ emissions vary between the declarations, but all take heed of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s stark warning.

Project Vision

A net-zero carbon Devon, with its environment and communities strengthened and resilient to the effects of inevitable climate change. Net-zero means that the balance of carbon sinks and emissions in any one year will be zero.

Project Scope

The scope extends across all carbon-emitting activity in Devon (including production and consumption emissions) and the climate and inter-related risks to its environment and communities. This includes all those people who live, work in and visit our county, those businesses who are based or operate in Devon and the condition of its natural environment.

Project objectives

To coordinate a collaborative Devon-wide response to the climate emergency and ecological crisis to:

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Improve our environment

Improve the resilience of Devon’s environment against the effects of climate change

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Reduce carbon emissions

Facilitate the reduction of carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050 at the latest, to include substantial nature improvement to absorb carbon.

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Get communities ready

Prepare Devon‘s communities for the necessary adaptations to infrastructure and services to respond to a warmer world.

Project Deliverables

  1. A Devon Carbon Plan
  2. An initial review of Devon’s climate-related community and environmental risks and opportunities and a subsequent adaptation plan
  3. A plan from each signatory to the Devon Climate Declaration, within 6 months of signing, to reduce their organisational carbon emissions


The project is overseen by the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG). This was established on 9th May 2019. The DCERG is being supported by a Tactical Group, which will provide advice and practical support as requested.

The DCERG has appointed two groups:

  • the Climate Impacts Group is reviewing current levels of community preparedness to a warmer world
  • the Net-Zero Task Force is developing a Devon Carbon Plan to set Devon on the path to becoming net-zero carbon by 2050 at the latest. This will include convening a Citizens Assembly to seek the views of members of the public, to collectively discuss and review policy recommendations for reaching net-zero in Devon.

The project governance described on this page is available to download:Climate Emergency Terms of Reference

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