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Net-Zero Task Force Minutes 11th December 2019

Devon Climate Emergency Net-Zero Task Force minutes 11th December 2019.
Download a PDF copy of the minutes here.


Patrick Devine-Wright (Chair)
Ian Bailey
Kerry Hayes
Laura Cardenas
Gill Westcott
James Shorten
Harry Bonnell
Nik Bowyer
Cornelia Guell
Doug Eltham (Devon County Council, Environment and Sustainability Policy Officer)
Emily Reed (Devon County Council, Devon Climate Emergency Project Manager)


Sue Goodfellow (Vice-Chair)
Iain Stewart
Tim Jones
Ian Hutchcroft

Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

Matters Arising

a) Youth Parliament Event

Patrick Devine-Wright, Alice Moseley, Kerry Hayes and Doug Eltham ran an engagement workshop as part of a day-long conference organised by the Youth Parliament on the 29th November. The workshop gathered the students’ ideas about decarbonising the same topics that the themed hearings have focussed on. About 100 students’ attended from 15 secondary schools as well as a couple of primary schools.

ACTION: Doug Eltham to prepare summaries of the discussions to feed into the Carbon Plan process and to feed back to the delegates.

b) Emissions Scenario Projection

Tony Norton at the University of Exeter has drafted a Devon projection of the UK Committee on Climate Change 2050 scenario. Finalising this will await the Task Force’s feedback in the New Year.

c) Use of climate emergency as a material planning consideration

Andy Wood, chair of the Greater Exeter Low Carbon Task Force, has been asked by the DCERG to look at the legal implications of using climate change as a material planning consideration. The first step is for Andy to determine the funding he needs to do this.

ACTION: Kerry Hayes to can get in touch with some of her contacts through Regen to enquire if others in the UK are using climate change as a material planning consideration.

Feedback from each hearing

Each of the co-chairs of the themed hearings highlighted key points from the draft hearing summary documents and gave their initial reflections on the process.

ACTION: Co-Chairs to confirm to Emily Reed that they are content with the summary documents for circulation to the whole Task Force and publication online.

Common themes beginning to emerge included:

  • A vision for a net-zero Devon needs to be created
  • There is a need to plan for all land use, not just development  
  • The existing spatial planning system is not able to respond to a climate emergency
  • Individual and organisational behaviour change is necessary to reduce consumption of all resources
  • Communities need to be supported to act and lead change locally alongside the high-level changes to policy and regulation.

ACTION: Secretariat to identify the common themes emerging from the hearings once the summary documents are finalised.

ACTION – Secretariat to check that heating and cooling of buildings have been covered appropriately between the built environment and the energy & waste hearings.

ACTION: Secretariat to commission some visual minutes of the hearings using the hearing summary documents.

ACTION: Secretariat to include ‘How a vision can be created’ as an agenda item at the January Task Force meeting. This could involve inviting key witnesses to attend Task Force meetings in 2020 and focus each meeting on particular topics.

ACTION: All co-chairs to consider opportunities for additional research and any witnesses that need further conversations.

Structure of the Devon Carbon Plan

The Task Force agreed that it would be interesting to see how the Carbon Plan could be structured around services – heating, lighting, cooking, washing, shelter, eating etc. as this could be a useful way to make the issues more real for people.

ACTION – Secretariat to reframe the key points from the hearings into services.

Citizens’ Assembly Update

Patrick Devine-Wright and Alice Moseley have completed a rapid evidence review of citizens’ assemblies and produced a report recommending how the Devon Citizens’ Assembly should operate.

The design of the citizens’ assembly will need to be signed off by the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG) at its next meeting on the 18th December. The final design will be the decision of the Task Force.

The local authorities on the DCERG are sharing the report with their elected councillors and their comments will be compiled by the secretariat for the Task Force’s review.

It’s likely that the citizens’ assembly will operate in May 2020 which will allow sufficient time to recruit participants and avoid the Easter holidays.

Next Meetings

The next meetings are scheduled for:

  • 20th January
  • 14th February
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