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Net Zero Task Force Meeting Minutes 6th October

Net Zero Task Force Draft Minutes 6th October 2020. Download a PDF copy of the minutes here.


  • Patrick Devine-Wright (Chair)
  • Sue Goodfellow (Vice Chair)
  • Gill Westcott
  • Harry Bonnell
  • Tim Jones
  • Ellie Rowlands
  • Emily Reed
  • Doug Eltham
  • Laura Cardenas
  • Lyndis Cole
  • Hannah Lawrie
  • Ian Bailey
  • Ian Hutchcroft
  • Kerry Hayes
  • James Shorten
  • Nik Bowyer
  • Iain Stewart (joined from Item 5)


  • Cornelia Guell

1. Net-Zero Timetable

The Task Force noted that China has introduced a 2060 net-zero target and closer to home the NHS has announced it will be looking to achieve net-zero in its estate and supply chain by 2040. The Task Force AGREED that the net-zero target should be kept under review.

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

3. Questions and comments on the Net Zero Task Force Progress Report

None on this occasion.

4. Preparation of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan

a) Sub-Section Text Drafting

Emily thanked the Task Force for their significant input recently on the drafting of the Interim Carbon Plan. Section drafting is now complete and the whole plan will be shared with the Task Force this week by email.

Feedback is needed by the 26th October please.

Kerry Hayes commented that the opportunities arising from achieving net-zero would be better brought forward within each section so that the reader sees the framing of a positive future before reading the transformations that are required.

Emily Reed confirmed that there will be an Executive Summary, which is yet to be prepared. Hannah Lawrie suggested that this is a good opportunity to set out the opportunities.

Patrick Devine-Wright asked that the geography of opportunities is also considered in how the Plan is structured.

Tim Jones reminded the Task Force that the Plan needs to make its point quickly to grab people’s attention to encourage them to dig deeper.

Emily advised the Task Force that the Case Studies are still to be written. Also still to be written are the summary tables that will describe the lead partners, the finance status and the geography of each action.

James Shorten said that being able to visualise what the transformations mean for different types of community and geography will be really important – Emily said we’ll consider that over the coming months. Patrick suggested picking particular scenarios – e.g. a family in Exeter, or a couple in Ilfracombe – and describe what the transformations look like for them.

b) Critical Path diagrams and prioritisation

We are working to get one diagram complete for mid-October. The diagrams will align the actions in the Interim Carbon Plan with the Committee on Climate Change 2050 scenario.

Patrick and Sue Goodfellow asked how the prioritisation of actions is progressing. Emily reported that the prioritised actions from the Critical Pathway workshop are identified within each chapter.

Gill Westcott noted that the Food, Land and Sea actions have been rebuilt since Andrew Rowson at the university will have seen them. Gill suggested grouping actions together and assessing the effectiveness of groups rather than individual actions, as many support each other.

Ian Bailey commented that prioritisation shouldn’t necessarily be just about carbon – we’ve heard today about enabling business investment, social justice etc. as the partners will need to be bought in to the actions to make them a priority for them, and highlighting these other benefits will assist with that.

ACTION: The carbon impact assessment of actions to be revisited by the secretariat and share with the Task Force.

5. Communications Update

a) Website update

Ellie shared the new website. The website incorporates visioning images of different Devon scenes in a low-carbon future.

b) Public consultation for the Interim Plan

Ellie thanked the Task Force for the videos they have produced. Partners are also going to see if councillors would like to do the same.

Consultation questions

Ellie Rowlands shared an early draft of the consultation questions.

Patrick commented that it looks like we might be expecting a lot from people, even those who are really interested in the Plan. James agreed and suggested highlighting some of the important issues that we would like comment on, rather than asking for comment on the whole Plan.

Nik Bowyer agreed that there is a lot of information gathering proposed about priorities and further ideas, but that could be quite relevant now that perceptions might have been changed by COVID.

Lyndis Cole said that it might be difficult for people to comment on actions, as many of them are enabling, whereas they might want to comment on an issue and its end goal.

Harry Bonnell advised that we should put an indication of time commitment on the survey.

Patrick said that some pilot testing would be a good idea.

Sue suggested we should ask people what they are prepared to do to help achieve the net-zero challenge. Sue also suggested that the questionnaire and the key points should be prominent on the website.

Patrick said that we need to be clear how we are engage with offline audiences.

The Task Force asked for a carbon footprint calculator to be linked to from the website.

Task Force involvement in the consultation

Ellie advised that online webinars have been scheduled with Task Force members.

Social media will be a focus for consultation communication given the restrictions on physical gatherings and so Task Force’s organisations helping spread the consultation on social media would be excellent.

6. Citizens’ Assembly

a) Scottish Assembly

Iain Stewart reported that the Scottish Assembly will occur in March 2021 and shared progress on its planning. There is an evaluation group of Strathclyde University who are happy to help share learning with Devon.

b) Devon Assembly

Doug Eltham reported that the University of Exeter has been awarded the contract to advise on whether an online deliberation can offer the quality of debate required, and, if so, how that should be designed.

James advised that Adur and Worthing Council is undertaking an online assembly which we could get learning from as well.

7. AOB

Emily said that we may wish to consider refreshing the link between the Response Group and the Task Force. This could be operated on a rotating basis. The Task Force initially suggested this would be welcome and will consider this over the next month.

Tim Jones reported that a recent survey undertaken by XXXXX with businesses in Devon has reported that 66% of them are preparing for net-zero by 2050.

Tim further reported that a meeting with governor of the Bank of England is scheduled for the 26th November and suggested some Task Force members could be involved. Tim will circulate information.

Tim also reported that the meeting with the LEP Board in September went well and a number of follow-up conversations are occurring.

Ian Hutchcroft reported that the LEP has awarded funding to do a further 30 Energiesprong homes in Devon to help build the retrofit supply chain.

Doug reported that at least £4.8m has been awarded to Devon Climate Emergency partners via the Green Homes Grant to retrofit homes by the end of March 2021.

Ian Bailey asked for input from Task Force members on priorities for government investment for net-zero. This will feed into work he is doing for the COP26.  

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