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Net-Zero Task Force

The Task Force members had expertise in topics relevant to carbon reduction and are drawn from economic, environmental, community, health and academic organisations, and is chaired by a leading climate expert.

They developed a Devon Carbon Plan to set Devon on the path to becoming net-zero carbon by 2050 at the latest. For this, they convened a Citizens Assembly to seek the views of the public, to collectively discuss and review ideas on reaching net-zero in Devon.

The Task Force has now been superseded by a Climate Task Force. The Devon Climate Task Force will use its specialist knowledge and experience to offer advice on and scrutiny of the implementation of both the Climate Adaptation Strategy and Devon Carbon Plan.

Minutes of the latest meeting:

Core members

Patrick Devine-Wright (Chair)

Patrick is Professor in Human Geography and an environmental social scientist at the University of Exeter. He specialises in researching issues of social acceptance and community engagement with sustainable energy transitions and is a non-Executive Director of Exeter Community Energy. Patrick is a Lead Author for the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, currently contributing to the 6th Assessment Report published in 2021.

Twitter profile.

Iain Stewart

Iain is Professor of Geoscience Communication at the Sustainable Earth Institute at the University of Plymouth, and President of the Devon Wildlife Trust. Iain’s geo-communication activities build on 15-years of making mainstream television documentaries about planet Earth. This ‘popular geoscience’ has led to an academic interest in how best to convey complex and contested Earth science to non-technical audiences. Ian holds a UNESCO Chair in Geoscience and Society.

Twitter profile.

Olly Frankland

Olly is a project manager of electric vehicles and innovation with Regen. Olly manages a wide variety of complex projects. He has developed a strong knowledge base in electric vehicles, asset management, community energy, domestic energy storage and microgeneration. He works across a large spectrum of technologies, providing detailed advisory support for the industry and is helping deliver a zero-carbon energy system.

Nik Bowyer

Nik is Chair of the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation South West Region. He is Strategic Transport Projects Manager at Bath & North East Somerset Council, and previously an Associate Director at AECOM. Nik specialises in strategic transport planning, modelling and transport economics. He studied Geography at the University of Exeter where he specialised in climate change, palaeoclimates and sustainability.

Hannah Lawrie

Hannah is Chair of the Chartered Institute of Wastes Management, South West Centre and is Head of Sustainability at Ricardo Energy & Environment and a Chartered Waste Manager specialising in the development and procurement of waste services and infrastructure. Hannah studied Earth Sciences at the University of Oxford, has 20 years’ experience within the waste management sector and specialises in waste collection, technology and infrastructure services, contracts and procurement.

Laura Cardenas

Laura is an Atmospheric Chemist at Rothamsted Research in Devon. Laura has a PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry and is currently studying the link between grazing behaviour and nitrous oxide emissions from extensive upland and intensive lowland agricultural systems. She is a key contributor to the Defra inventory of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions.

James Shorten

James is a geographer and planner at Geo Consultants with nearly 30 years of work on the planning system and sustainable development. He holds an MSc in Planning from Reading University. He was the main author of the Welsh Government’s One Planet Development Guidance.

Tim Jones

Tim is Chairman of the South West Business Council and Chair of the North Devon UNESCO Biosphere Foundation. Previously, Tim was the first Chair of the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership. As a chartered surveyor, Tim has been involved for over 30 years in a wide range of property issues. Tim is now extensively involved in commercial property development across the south-west peninsula.

Gill Westcott

Gill is Co-Chair of Transition Exeter and a Director of New Prosperity Devon. She has a background in education for sustainability and health economics and has lived on a Devon smallholding since 1992. She is a former Chair of Cheriton Bishop Parish Council and helped found the Cheriton Bishop Community Land Trust to provide affordable homes for local people.

Ian Hutchcroft

Ian is part of the Energiesprong team adapting the Dutch developed approach for the UK market, working closely with teams in Netherlands, France and Germany.  He is leading ground-breaking delivery projects across the UK, including the Mayor of London’s Retrofit Accelerator Homes programme and the Zero Energy Buildings Catalyst project in Devon, and is working with leading social landlords and industry partners to build a volume market. Ian is also Chair of Plymouth Energy Community and has previously worked with leading NGOs, local authorities and architects developing low carbon solutions.  He has won two Ashden Awards for sustainable energy innovation.

Harry Bonnell

Harry is Community Project Officer at Devon Communities Together, where he works on a range of engagement and development projects across Devon.  Harry holds an MSc in ‘Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability’ from BTH University (Sweden) and has experience of facilitating grass roots processes with multi-stakeholder groups.

Suzanne Goodfellow

Sue is an ecologist and environmentalist who has worked in conservation for over 30 years, mostly with Dartmoor National Park Authority where she was Director and led on climate change. She then ran her own environmental consultancy and has worked on sustainable tourism and biodiversity projects. She was a Director of Europarc Atlantic Isles, Chair of Natural Devon for 5 years and Chair of Devon Wildlife Trust. Sue is currently a Moorland Guide and writes and lectures on wildlife and conservation.

Advisory members

Ian Bailey

Ian is Professor of Environmental Politics at the University of Plymouth. Ian’s research interests are in environmental policy and, in particular, carbon and other environmental markets, social debates on onshore and offshore renewable energy, waste management, and environmental justice.

Cornelia Guell

Cornelia is a medical anthropologist and lecturer at the University of Exeter’s European Centre for Environment and Human Health. Her research focuses on healthy living practices and policies; this includes understanding the physical, social and policy environments that can encourage walking and cycling and local food production initiatives that can encourage healthy eating. Cornelia undertakes research in the UK and Small Island Developing States in the Caribbean and the Pacific.

Lyndis Cole

Lyndis is an ecologist and landscape planner. She was a Director at Land Use Consultants (LUC), latterly leading on all aspects of landscape planning.  Over the last 15 years she has focused on the interface between landscape and climate change mitigation and adaptation, including leading major national research studies for government on the future of Agri-environment schemes. She has recently retired as a member of CPRE’s national policy committee and writes on landscape and environmental issues.

Other Contributors

Kerry Hayes

Kerry Hayes is Project Development Manager at Simply Blue Group, as well as the Shadow Board Chair for RenewableUK and Policy Engagement Manager at Blue Gem Wind. She was previously a Project Manager at Regen for almost 5 years until August 2021. Kerry was on the Task Force from September 2019 to June 2021.

Jodie Giles

Jodie is Head of Innovation at Innovate UK, and was previously Head of Community and Local Energy at Regen. She was on the Task Force from July 2021 to October 2021.

Terms of Reference


To use its specialist knowledge and experience to produce an evidence-led Devon Carbon Plan, including consideration of the earliest credible date that should be set for net-zero emissions, following the process and schedule endorsed by the Response Group.


A Devon Carbon Plan.


The frequency of meetings will initially be ad-hoc and decided by its members. Meeting dates will be published on the project website.


The minutes of the Net-Zero Task Force will be published on the project website following their sign-off.


Twelve core members will comprise the Task Force and will be accompanied by advisory members. All members will be invited by the Response Group for their specialism and will represent a variety of stakeholder groups and sectors relevant to the decarbonisation agenda. The members will be expected to provide practical support to the chair outside of the scheduled meetings, alongside the Tactical Group and the Project Manager.


The Response Group will invite one of the Task Force members to be the chair. The Response Group can change the chair. The chair will lead the Task Force in designing and delivering the aspects of the plan-making process endorsed by the Response Group.


The Task Force will seek to make decision by consensus. If necessary, decisions can be taken by a majority vote, with the chair holding an additional casting vote.


The Project Manager and the Tactical Group will provide practical support to the Task Force to develop the Devon Carbon Plan. Funding to operate aspects of the Plan development has been made available.

The Task Force can seek advice and input from others to inform its activities.


Devon County Council’s Environment Group will provide the secretariat and appoint the multi-agency Project Manager.

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