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Net Zero Task Force Meeting Minutes, 24th August


Sue Goodfellow
Cornelia Guell
Harry Bonnell
Tim Jones
Laura Cardenas
Gill Westcott
James Shorten
Iain Stewart
Lyndis Cole


Hannah Lawrie
Ian Hutchcroft
Ian Bailey
Jodie Giles
Nik Bowyer
Patrick Devine-Wright


Emily Widdecombe
Doug Eltham (Chaired this meeting)

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

Matters arising not picked up elsewhere on the agenda:

The Food, Farming and Countryside Commission and the Devon Local Nature Partnership are progressing with the Land Use Framework. Consultants are currently being appointed to lead the process. The current plan is for representation from the Task Force to be invited to contribute once the contractor is on board.

ACTION: Doug Eltham will advise the FFCC that Lyndis Cole and James Shorten have offered to be involved from now to help with the tendering process.

2. Progress Report

Doug invited questions on the Progress Report. No questions. questions.

3. Citizens’ Assembly

3.1 General Update

The report from the Devon Climate Assembly will be available in draft form by the end of August. This will be shared with the Task Force and the Tactical Group for comment over a two week period. The final report will then be issued in September for the Response Group to sign off.

The secretariat is considering how to involve the partners in turning the Assembly’s recommendations into actions to incorporate into the Final Devon Carbon Plan. Harry Bonnell suggested getting the opinion of the Climate Assembly Project Team on this.

Laura Cardenas requested that once a process has been designed, it is brought back to the Task Force in a flow diagram format to make it easy to understand.

Laura further asked for clarification on the role of the Task Force in subsequent stages. Doug said the Task Force will have a ‘check and balance’ role to challenge the Devon Climate Emergency partners about how they respond to the Assembly’s recommendations as necessary.

James suggested the Task Force should produce a paper to formally respond to the Assembly’s recommendations to give further guidance and confidence to partners in developing actions. This was AGREED.

3.2 Assembly Communications

Emily Widdecombe advised that some 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 also developing detailed articles about some of the issues the Assembly deliberated, based on the evidence that was presented. These will be published in the coming weeks.

Gill Westcott suggested the Task Force members could be part of the communications surrounding the launch of the report – such as quotes or short videos.

4. Next Iteration of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan

Revisions to the chapters of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan are continuing. This is slightly behind schedule due to resources having been focussed on the assembly and, more recently, on the COP26 Green Zones funding application.

5. Update on Recent Publications

The Task Force received a summary of key points from the IPCC 6th Assessment Report and the UK Hydrogen Strategy.

Doug advised that the project’s communication channels will be used to communicate key messages of both documents and promote the net-zero activity happening in Devon. The revised Interim Devon Carbon Plan will also refer to both documents.

6. Communications Update

6.1 Reaching a Wider Audience

Emily advised the Task Force that the Tactical Group has discussed the need to understand better how the DCE project can engage with a wider audience to encourage more people in Devon to make small changes to their everyday lives to help reach net-zero.

The secretariat are exploring: the use of Experian Mosaic data to categorise different audiences; messaging recommendations from the Climate Outreach project; and will speak further with Public Health Devon (to learn from their experience of helping people take responsibility for their own health) and behaviour-change specialists at the University of Exeter to enhance the DCE Communications Plan. Early conversations have also been had about mobile phone apps that could be used to reward people to change behaviours.

6.2 Green Zone Events

The South West Energy Hub is inviting local authorities to apply for funding to lead ‘Green Zone’ events during the COP26 fortnight, which falls between 31st October and 13th November, as part of the COP26 Domestic Campaign. They have sufficient funding for at least two regional events, which they hope will be accessible to a wide range of audiences. They have a budget of up to £30,000 per event. The deadline for application is the 27th August.

The secretariat has coordinated a bid from the Devon Climate Emergency local authorities. This will apply for funding to run at least one event in each council area in partnership with a local community organisation or business to showcase activity underway to help reach net-zero. The Local Enterprise Partnership is also involved. These events will help reach new audiences.

6.3 Business Engagement

The UK Government has launched the UK Business Climate Hub to help businesses transition to net-zero. Emily Widdecombe is in the process of updating the advice pages on the Devon Climate Emergency website to signpost to the new resources.

Tim Jones confirmed that the Local Enterprise Partnership has funding to pilot a business support programme this year which, if successful, could be subsequently upscaled.

6.4 Parish Councils

Gill and Lyndis noted that parish councils are still needing guidance on where to start with preparing net-zero plans with their communities. Gill said that New Prosperity Devon has been supporting a network of local councils and is helping Devon Communities Together to resource them. Harry advised that Devon Communities Together is preparing tools and resources with the University of Exeter.

Doug said the resources on the Devon Climate Emergency website have been designed with the parish councils in mind, but we need to make sure they are useful and relevant so these can be updated with the Devon Communities Together toolkit when it’s ready.

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