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Net Zero Task Force, Meeting Minutes, 27th July 2022


Patrick Devine-Wright

Sue Goodfellow

Ian Bailey

Conny Guell

Tim Jones

Olly Frankland

James Shorten

Harry Bonnell

Lyndis Cole

Ian Hutchcroft

Laura Cardenas


Nik Bowyer

Gill Westcott

Hannah Lawrie

Iain Stewart

Harry Bonnell


Emily Reed  

Charlotte Brown

Doug Eltham  

1. Matters arising from previous minutes

Minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as a true record of the meeting.

Actions carried over:

ACTION: Secretariat to approach the Devon Planning Officers Group to arrange a discussion with Tim and James.

ACTION: Secretariat to prepare an infographic describing the skills and experience required by each theme board, which could be shared with communities for them to evaluate their own skills gaps.

2. Future Governance

Emily highlighted that RSK has been appointed to assist with the preparation of the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan. RSK have been involved in the Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan. RSK are also alive to the need for the Adaptation Plan to integrate with the Devon Carbon Plan.

No further questions from the Task Force.

3. Progress with the Devon Carbon Plan

Emily advised the Task Force that Phil Norrey has announced his retirement. As per the Terms of Reference, the members of the Response Group have the opportunity to nominate their organisation to lead the Group. But assuming it continues to be chaired by Devon County Council, then the new chair will either be the interim Chief Executive or the Director for Climate Change, Environment and Transport. This will be determined at the next Response Group on the 25th August.

Emily also advised the Task Force that the Response Group endorsed the Task Force’s recommendations to remove the multi-theme board from the future governance structure and to prepare team specifications for each of the theme boards to avoid echo chambers. The Response Group did say that they would not want the team specifications to put-off certain demographics from applying to be part of the boards, and so care will be needed.

Sue asked how the Task Force will transition into the new governance arrangements. Emily explained that the Task Force members that feel they have the capacity and enthusiasm to remain involved will be invited to sit on the theme boards. This will happen in the autumn.

Ian Hutchcroft asked where within the governance structure the delivery happens, rather than the monitoring. Doug explained that the delivery will be undertaken by as many organisations and people in Devon as can be encouraged to demonstrate how they are helping. The theme boards will receive quarterly reports, prepared by the secretariat, that will collate as much of that activity as possible. The theme boards will use their combined experience and skills to determine issues and barriers and feed those up to the Response Group.

Ian Hutchcroft suggested collating information about how much funding is being spent on delivery the Devon Carbon Plan as part of the monitoring framework.

Ian Bailey said that ideally the carbon saved by each project should be the determinator of success. Emily agreed but explained that most of the projects are enabling actions, e.g. establishing a Devon Energy Advice Service, providing a Land Use Framework, installing electric vehicle charge points, which themselves don’t save carbon. So to assign an anticipated carbon saving to them requires assumptions about how those enabling actions result in behaviour change. With guidance from the University of Exeter, this has not been done but instead we’ve used a traffic-light indicator for each action based on a qualitative assessment of the magnitude of carbon saving an action could lead to and its ease/speed of implementation.  

Patrick suggested that the theme boards would produce an annual report. Emily advised that that is part of the proposal and that those reports would be received by the Devon Climate Change Forum for scrutiny. The Forum would then give its opinion on progress to the Response Group.  

Tim reminded the group that funding from the private sector will be critical, and that will require a partnership with public funds to enable the investment.

Patrick posed the question whether there is capacity from communities to take part in the theme boards and the climate change forum without receiving remuneration.

Patrick suggested an annual gathering of everybody involved in the governance to share progress and opportunities. Award ceremonies could be useful to highlight people who are doing things to encourage others to help implement the Carbon Plan.

Tim added that businesses could benefit from an environmental kite mark scheme to show their eco credentials to their customers. Ian added that a local carbon-disclosure type initiative could be helpful to publish what the larger organisations are doing in Devon.

James added that the theme boards shouldn’t get bogged down in monitoring but just to focus on headline indicators.

ACTION – Secretariat to send the latest governance structure to the Task Force.

4. Progress with the Devon Carbon Plan


Doug advised that all of the chapters have been updated with the feedback from partners, the Task Force and the recommendations from the Citizens’ Assembly. Andrew Rowson at the University of Exeter is helping to prepare three diagrams for each chapter – 1) a carbon emissions waterfall chart, 2) an action duration diagram and 3) a milestones diagram. An example of each was shared with the Task Force.

Patrick asked for more user testing of the diagrams.

ACTION – Secretariat to test the diagrams with more people.


Emily introduced the example summary documents of the Built Environment chapter – a short two-pager and a summary of 2,000 words. Emily added that the two-pager has interpreted the actions in the Plan for different audiences – Individuals, Communities, Organisations and Local Policy Makers.

The Task Force AGREED that the two-pager summaries should be turned into infographics, and that the 2,000 word summaries should be combined to become the Summary Report.

Olly commented that he likes the drop-down sections on the website that present the Interim Devon Carbon Plan. Olly suggested the PDFs could be landscape and that these could be embedded in a PDF reader.

Sign-Off Process

A Word version of the Plan will be circulated by the 11th August to the Task Force ahead if its anticipated sign-off at the Task Force meeting on the 22nd August.

The Response Group is anticipated to sign it off at its meeting on the 25th August. All Task Force members are invited to this meeting as well.

ACTION – Emily to send Response Group invite to the Task Force.

The Plan will be available to the public on the website by mid-September. The partners will endorse it during the autumn through their formal governance arrangements. Other organisations and businesses will be encouraged to do so as well.

5. Communications Update

Charlotte gave an update on the communications activity described in the Progress Report.

Net-Zero Visions project is progressing well with many of the visions now coming to life, including the mural in Tiverton.

Tim said we need further engagement with business, particularly on their own supply chain emissions.


6.     Hydrogen

Patrick, Tim and Olly reported that there appears to be growing interest in the south west around hydrogen opportunities. Hydrogen South West is established as the networking opportunity for this.

7.     Next Meeting

Emily confirmed that the next meeting on the 22nd August.

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