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Net Zero Task Force Minutes 14th February 2020

Net Zero Task Force Minutes 14th February 2020. Download a PDF version of the minutes here.


Patrick Devine-Wright (Chair)
Kerry Hayes
Gill Westcott
Harry Bonnell
Iain Stewart
Nik Bowyer
James Shorten
Cornelia Guell
Hannah Lawrie
Ian Hutchcroft
Sue Goodfellow
Tim Jones
Ellie Rowlands
Emily Reed
Ian Bailey
Doug Eltham
Laura Cardenas


Harry Bonnell
Sue Goodfellow

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

Tim Jones raised the question of “ownership” of carbon sequestration, including in the marine context and that it is a gap in the current governance structure. Tim is currently exploring this, including the need for longer lease periods.

ACTION: Ian Hutchcroft pointed out that electricity was originally split out by end use not generation, which was felt to be more helpful. Emily to check how it is done in Tony’s final report.

ACTION: Emily to compile a list of locations of groups or individuals who have submitted evidence, where these locations are given e.g. Exeter XR group.

Outstanding action carried over from January Task Force:

ACTION: Secretariat to put together a presentation pack which can be used by Task Force Members to communicate where in the process of developing a carbon plan we are – what we’ve done and what is next.

ACTION: Emily to start a list of potential Citizen’s Assembly witnesses and Task Force to notify Emily of ideas over the coming weeks.

2. Chairs of hearings gave short summary presentations:

To highlight (i) key findings from the hearings; (ii) consistencies or differences with the GHG projections related to each hearing topic in the Net Zero Devon report; (iii) particular change options and/or ‘hard choices’ that could be implemented to drive ambitious emissions cuts (iv) any further information required

a) 10:10 Food, Land and Sea: I & II (Gill and Laura)

Gill and Laura presented on the theme of Food, Land and Sea.

ACTION: Gill to circulate a written version of their presentation.

ACTION: It was noted that we lack a nutritionist’s view and that this needs to be addressed.

ACTION: Laura agreed to keep the task force up to date with the work being carried out by Alice Mosely on a citizen’s jury in the Ruby Country, Devon – “Delivering a community supported vision for achieving net zero carbon targets within a livestock farmed environment”.

ACTION: Conny to share study by Business School on direct diet choices.

b) 10:20 Mobility (Nik and Kerry)

Nik and Kerry presented on the theme of Mobility.

It was raised that scenarios for fiscal carrots and sticks to promote behaviour change in the mobility sector could be something to consider at the Citizens Assembly.

Nik pointed out that the public might find it helpful for the public to see an infographic on the relative cost of private transport vs. public or other.

ACTION: Nik to circulate written notes of his presentation and try to include split of vehicles using roads e.g. % commercial fleet vs private vehicles and public transport.

c) 10:30 The Built Environment (Tim, James and Ian)

James presented on the planning elements of the Built Environment.

James highlighted the opportunities in part L, but Kerry pointed out the risk of this being taken away in Future Homes legislation.

ACTION: James to clarify the opportunity within the national planning practice guidance to set Devon standards higher than national.

Ian presented on issues relating to retrofit and new builds.

Tim presented on the levers and identified planning test cases as key to moving things forward– e.g. on shore wind & horticultural glass houses

ACTION: Tim, James and Ian to write up and circulate.

Patrick raised the issue of the skills needed to install heat pumps etc. at rate. Kerry seconded the supply chain issue, highlighting the need for trusted installers who are well known locally to overcome the fear of cowboys.

d) 10:40 Energy and Waste (Kerry and Hannah)

Kerry presented on Energy and Waste.

ACTION: Kerry to tidy up notes and circulate

ACTION: Find out about opportunities for creating Hydrogen in Devon

ACTION: Tim Jones suggested that we develop an asset register of what we’ve got in Devon.

Tim also raised the importance of leveraging investment funds – such as the community energy fund.

e) 10:50 Cross Cutting Themes (Harry, Nik, Hannah and James)

James presented on cross cutting themes.

ACTION: James to share “The Future is Rural” by the post carbon institute.

ACTION: Emily to share the link to the national citizens assembly presentations.

ACTION: Next agenda to focus on presentations from chairs highlighting hard choices and most impactful choices, plus levers for action locally and who holds those leavers.

ACTION: Emily to map discussion in todays Task Force meeting onto a levers matrix – using the Committee on Climate Change report on levers for action.

3. Citizens Assembly

  1. Procurement update given by Doug Eltham – tender ought to be ready to go out on the 21st of February. Doug has highlighted to the procurement team the urgent nature, given that we need to complete before the summer holidays start.
    1. Recommendations from local authority members – local authority DCERG members have fed back their recommendations for the Citizens Assembly which Doug can share.

It was noted by Patrick that it could be considered that there is a risk that potential participants of the citizens assembly could be deterred by the possibility that their benefits and income could be affected. Patrick raised the possibility of offering a choice of options for renumeration to participants, including not taking any renumeration.

Kerry updated the Task Force on her experience of observing the National Citizens Assembly, as far as she could discuss it. She was very impressed with the quality of information shared, the moderation and the lack of jargon in presentations.

ACTION: Kerry to write up her thoughts on the National Assembly and ideas that should be carried into our own.

ACTION: Ellie to raise issue of renumeration for citizens assembly through comms – highlighting the inconsistent nature of how this might be dealt with and the lack of policy on this. See email which Patrick forwarded regarding this.

ACTION: Next agenda to include procurement update and Local Authority recommendations for the Citizen’s Assembly.

4. Using the climate emergency as a material planning consideration. (Doug)

  • Feedback from recent meetings:

The conversation is more advanced in Devon than in other counties, they are keen to know what we find out.

James asked who is giving the legal advice.

ACTION: James to advise on individuals who could give legal advice on using the climate emergency as a material planning consideration.

ACTION: Make item 4 a standing item on the agenda.

  • Bringing planning officers together for a meeting:

Devon Planning Offers Group has been reconvened and is refining the request of legal advice for using the climate emergency as a material planning consideration.

5. Holding an event

Further discussion on holding an event at the University to share ideas from the Call for Evidence with a discussion panel made up of Task Force members, Expert Witnesses and Stakeholders (Patrick)

ACTION: Emily to clarify the specifics of the March North Devon event and feed back to Gill and Kerry who are interested in participating.

6. A vision for a net-zero Devon

Are depictions of the thematic hearings’ findings still required? (Emily)

It was decided that this wasn’t a priority currently.

7. James proposed land use consultant Lyndis Cole. There was support for her involvement.

ACTION: James to circulate Lyndis’ biography.

ACTION: Secretariat to invite Lyndis to the next Task Force meeting.

  • Kerry proposed Peter Kydd, an independent consulting engineer.

ACTION: Secretariat to ask Peter Kydd to dial in, or join the Task Force in person, to speak for 15 minutes.

8. Communications update

Sharing of draft communication plan & analytics of public engagement (Ellie)

  • Ellie gave an overview of the data we have to date on engagement with the Devon Climate Emergency Communications across channels.
  • Men are underrepresented in the engagement figures.
  • The website is not visited by younger people overall.
  • More action is needed to engage aware but not active individuals.

ACTION: It was agreed that communications should highlight the co-benefits of tackling climate change as a strategy to engage a wider audience e.g. approaching climate change from the angle of health or thermal comfort.

9. Considerations

Task Force to consider whether they would like to capture and use the discussions from the Local Nature Partnership in any way. (Emily)

10. Section 106 funding for climate change intervention (Emily)

Emily and Doug reported back that establishing an offset fund through section 106 is being actively discussed as part of Greater Exeter Strategic Plan. Other local planning authorities are also already looking at this. Encouraging local authorities to use section 106 funding for climate interventions is something the Devon Carbon Plan could include.

ACTION: Include Section 106 mechanism in the final plan, for carbon sequestration and retrofit of existing stock.

No AOB was raised.


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