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Net Zero Task Force Meeting Minutes, 22nd September


Patrick Devine-Wright (Chair)
Ian Hutchcroft
Ian Bailey
Jodie Giles
Nik Bowyer
Tim Jones
Gill Westcott
Laura Cardenas
Lyndis Cole


Hannah Lawrie
Sue Goodfellow
Cornelia Guell
Harry Bonnell
James Shorten
Iain Stewart


Emily Reed
Emily Widdecombe
Doug Eltham

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

It was AGREED that the minutes are a true record of the discussion.

2. Progress Report

Emily invited questions on the Progress Report.

Patrick and Tim said it’s disappointing to see that the Assembly doesn’t appear to have increased public interest in the Devon Climate Emergency based on the following levels of the electronic communication channels. We need to make the most of the Assembly report to encourage additional press coverage and public interest. See item 3.4.

3. Citizens’ Assembly

3.1 Report from the Citizens’ Assembly Members

The report from the Devon Climate Assembly has been circulated to the Tactical Group and Task Force for comment on structure and formatting. These comments are now with Involve and we expect the final report this week. The Response Group endorsed the draft report at its meeting on the 21st September. The report is expected to be online by the 1st October.   

Emily presented the resolutions from the Assembly report.

Patrick and Jodie noted that the extent of onshore wind acceptability from the assembly is reflective of public opinion surveys and so is not unexpected. Lyndis and Ian Bailey said it will be important that the conditions attached to the resolutions are fully incorporated into subsequent activity from the climate emergency partners.

3.2 Process of Turning Resolutions into Actions

Emily described the process that the partners have agreed to implement to turn the resolutions and conditions into actions.

Tim noted that the weight of consultation and engagement that has contributed to the assembly means that the report itself could be used immediately as a material planning consideration.

3.3 Response from the Task Force

Patrick suggested creating a few working groups to prepare a response to each of the themes the Assembly has deliberated. The document would be short and direct, and be positioned to provide an impartial commentary to the climate emergency partners on the assembly’s resolutions and conditions, and suggest actions as appropriate. This was AGREED.

Jodie and Patrick will work on the onshore wind theme. Ian Bailey will help.  

Nik will work on the transport theme.  

Ian Hutchcroft will work on the retrofit theme. Gill will help.

Tim will provide commentary on financing the delivering of the resolutions.

This document will be prepared for the middle of October when the first draft of actions needs to be shared by the Secretariat with the Tactical Group.

ACTION: Sub-groups to begin preparing texts within the next fortnight so that draft texts can be circulated amongst the whole Task Force ahead of mid-October to sign it off.

ACTION: Emily Reed to reschedule the October Task Force meeting to the middle of the month.  

3.4 Assembly Communications

Emily Widdecombe advised that three of the Assembly participants have agreed to provide quotes and blogs to be published through the project communications channels.

Devon County Council press office is developing detailed articles about some of the issues the Assembly deliberated, based on the evidence that was presented.

The blog posts and press releases will accompany the publication of the report on the 1st October.  

Tim and Gill suggested it could be an opportunity to engage local MPs in communicating the activity of the Assembly.

Jodie said she would be happy to contribute a blog post and suggested other Task Force members should do similar.

Patrick suggested an event to launch the report could be organised. Ian Bailey said that events targeted at different audiences would be welcome and Gill added that different geographies would be good, too.

Doug said that the secretariat does not have the resource to be running multiple events considering other priorities at the moment, so events would need to be led by others in the county, supported by us. We can see what appetite the officers in the district and unitary councils have for running events. Gill said some community organisations may be willing to help.

ACTION: Secretariat to explore options for events to mark the publication of the report.

Laura said she will be able to help disseminate the report through academic links.

ACTION: Emily Widdecombe to develop key messages for Task Force members and Tactical Group members to share within their organisations.

4. Next Iteration of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan

Revisions to the chapters of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan are continuing.

Energy Supply, Transport and Cross Cutting Themes chapters have been circulated to the Task Force and Tactical Group.

ACTION: Emily to arrange a conversation with Lyndis about the Energy Supply section.

5. Communications Update

5.1 General Update

Emily Widdecombe summarised the communications activity described in the Progress Report.

Tim reminded the Task Force that UN Climate Ambassador Nigel Topping lives in Devon and is willing to help with communications.

Reminded that there will be a flat spot after COP26 which will be a good slot to communicate in. Would be a good idea to develop some ideas for this.

ACTION: Emily Widdecombe to update the communications strategy to take advantage of the lull  

5.3 Green Zone Events

Devon County Council and the University of Exeter is running a workshop aimed at businesses to understand what businesses need to really meet net-zero. The learning will inform the design of DCC’s Green Innovation Fund.

ACTION: Secretariat to share details of the event with the Task Force for onward promotion

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