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Net Zero Task Force Meeting Minutes, 29th June


Patrick Devine-Wright (Chair)
Sue Goodfellow (Vice Chair)
Cornelia Guell
Harry Bonnell
Ian Bailey
Ian Hutchcroft
Kerry Hayes
Tim Jones
Laura Cardenas
Lyndis Cole
Gill Westcott
James Shorten
Nik Bowyer
Kaela Scott (Involve)


Hannah Lawrie
Iain Stewart


Emily Reed
Hannah Oliver
Doug Eltham

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

Tim Jones asked if the people who expressed an interest in being part of the assembly but were not selected could be contacted to be involved in the project in some other way.

ACTION: Emily to check with Involve whether the Privacy Policy would allow us to do that.

One Action was carried over:

Action: Secretariat to arrange an opportunity for Lyndis to meet with the Devon Landscape Policy Officers’ Group.

Regarding this action, Gill Westcott and Lyndis Cole reiterated that the landscape character assessments must take note of the effect of climate change on the landscape, and the need for the landscape to be planned to enable rapid carbon reductions.

2. Progress Report

Emily Reed  invited questions on the Progress Report.

Ian Hutchcroft asked for sufficient notice for Task Force members’ input to the redrafted sections of the Plan. Emily agreed and said whilst delayed, we now have a masters student helping with the redrafting. Transport section should be available in a couple of weeks and others will follow.

Lyndis offered to assist with the restructuring of the chapters.

ACTION: Emily to engage Lyndis in a conversation about chapter structure.

3. Citizens’ Assembly

3.1 General Update

Kaela provided the update. The first block is complete. This comprised a Wednesday evening, at which they heard about the context they’re working in and the scope of the Carbon Plan, then Saturday was an introduction to climate science and Sunday was an introduction to the three big challenges.

Kaela added that some voices feel the scope is too focused, and that decisions have already been made, particularly with regard to the onshore wind challenge. Kaela confirmed that at the next session we will revisit the context setting of the Plan, the consultation work that has been done to date to arrive at the big challenges, and reiterate that nothing about these challenges has been decided.

Patrick Devine-Wright noted that accessibility of communication materials needs to be improved – subtitles on videos for example and colours on pie charts etc.

ACTION: Assembly Project Team to discuss this further.

Tim said he is keen to see the Assembly generating recommendations that would be specific to Devon, drawing on what Devon’s unique selling points are for addressing the climate emergency. This will be important for influencing government economic strategy.

Ian Bailey asked how recommendations from the assembly for national government will be handled. Emily said that the assembly members have received a presentation about the types of responsibilities local actors have and have been encouraged to think about those responsibilities when developing their recommendations. However they will not be limited to making recommendations for local actors. Responsibilities of national government will come out in the discussions in the second block and recommendations captured in just the same way.

Conny Guell asked about principles. Kaela confirmed that Patrick introduced the assembly to the principles of the Carbon Plan and the assembly will be encouraged to think about those when developing recommendations.

Nik Bowyer asked if the assembly participants have been briefed on what will happen with their recommendations. Emily confirmed that Phil Norrey explained to the participants that their recommendations will be considered by the climate emergency partnership.  

Patrick said we should ensure it’s clear how each of the assembly’s recommendations has been treated by the climate emergency partnership. Doug confirmed this can be done as part of the public consultation that will follow the assembly.

3.2 Communications

Hannah Oliver confirmed that the presentations given to the Assembly will be on the Devon Climate Emergency YouTube channel this week.

A few members of the assembly have said they are happy to be involved in media stories around the assembly to track their personal story through the process.

Key messages from the presentations received in block 1 are being compiled into a press release to be distributed before block 2.

Patrick asked if there is an opportunity to use the Assembly to encourage more people in Devon to make behavioural changes. Hannah confirmed that we’ll be looking to share participants’ stories on social media. Emily added that the County Show is being used to engage people about the size of their carbon footprint and the easy steps they can take to minimise it.

3.3 Design of the Second Block

Kaela said the assembly’s second block will be split into three streams, each stream looking at one of the challenges. Speakers will be invited who are advocates of different policy options. The speakers will be available for the participants to question.

Lyndis said that constraints and issues of wind development need to be communicated to the assembly. Kaela confirmed those points will be included.

Sue suggested that the landscape and environmental issues associated with the development of the assembly’s recommendations must be considered. This is particularly important because the land and food issues are being explored by other means outside of the assembly.  

4. Consultation Report and Updating the Interim Carbon Plan

Doug Eltham advised that the Response Group has signed off the Consultation Report for publication and distribution.

James Shorten asked if we can publish the public’s opinion of each action. Emily said this should be possible.

ACTION: Emily to look at how the public’s opinion of each action could be published.

5. Timetable for the Final Devon Carbon Plan

The Response Group has approved a revised timetable for the preparation of the Final Devon Carbon Plan that results in a five-month acceleration of the process. This will result in a Final Plan ready for adoption by the partner organisations by August 2022.

This will hopefully be achieved by involving partners in an iterative process of developing the Final Plan, making use of the new, dedicated staff resources that are now in place in most of the partners, rather than the sequential phasing of project stages used to develop the Interim Plan.

6. Communications Update and Strategy

6.1 Crowd Funder

Emily reported that the Devon Climate Crowd Funder has selected three shortlisted projects that will be competing for a share of £10k at a live event on the 8th July. Videos introducing the three projects are available online

A further 10 projects can apply for a share of £30k. This opportunity will be launched at the event on the 8th July.

Tim said that it’s important that the criteria for these types of campaigns are designed appropriately to ensure the initiatives that receive funding can be sustained and don’t miss opportunities for larger investment.

6.2 County Show

The Devon Climate Emergency project will be part of the Devon County Council stand at the Devon County Show, which coincides with the Climate Assembly. This will focus on helping people understand where carbon emissions come from in their everyday lives.

6.3 Youth Engagement

Following on from the conversation at the last meeting about youth engagement, Hannah is developing a strategy through schools to 1) increase awareness of the project, 2) share classroom resources, and 3) provide opportunities for young people to be involved in the remaining stages of developing the Devon Carbon Plan.

6.4 Call to Action

A ‘Call to Action’ project is being implemented alongside citizens’ assembly, sharing tangible actions that everybody can do on an individual, household or organisation basis to do their bit. The project partners are getting involved in these and endorsing some of the action points.

Tim asked specifically how we could communicate better with the business community. Emily said that the partnership is keen to collaborate with the Business Council on the current Call to Action campaign and review the resources available on the website.

ACTION: Emily to speak with Tim about collaborating on business engagement

7. Any Other Business

Doug has presented the Food, Land and Sea section of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan to the Local Nature Partnership (LNP), Natural Devon. The LNP’s members are in a position to implement almost all of the actions in this section of the Plan and so the LNP is considering whether it could perform the role of the proposed Theme Board to oversee the delivery of the Food, Land and Sea section of the Devon Carbon Plan. This conversation is ongoing.  

Through the LNP, the Food and Farming Commission has funding available to lead on the design of a Land Use Framework for Devon. This is one of the priority actions. The LNP would like to understand more about how a Land Use Framework would be used to influence land management decisions.

ACTION: Doug to arrange a meeting with Lyndis, James and Sue Goodfellow to discuss meeting with the LNP to explain more about the Land Use Framework.

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