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Net Zero Task Force Minutes 20th January 2020

Devon Climate Emergency Net-Zero Task Force minutes 20th January 2020.

Download a PDF copy of the minutes here.


Patrick Devine-Wright (Chair)
Sue Goodfellow (Vice Chair)
Kerry Hayes
Gill Westcott
Harry Bonnell
Iain Stewart
Nik Bowyer
James Shorten
Cornelia Guell
Ian Hutchcroft
Tim Jones
Tony Norton
Ellie Rowlands
Emily Reed
Daniel Lash
David Sergeant


Ian Bailey
Doug Eltham
Laura Cardenas
Hannah Lawrie

1. Introduction of the new Climate Emergency Graduate Communications Intern to the Task Force

Ellie Rowlands, the newly in post Climate Emergency Graduate Communications Intern was introduced to the Task Force. The Task Force were informed that 570 public submissions of evidence had been made through the website as of Monday morning and that the communications team are promoting the Call for Evidence, which closes at the end of the month.

Action: The secretariat to share a draft communications plan with the Net Zero Task Force.
Action: All Task Force Members encouraged to promote the call for evidence through their communication channels over the next fortnight.

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

3. Presentation of Devon’s GHG projections based on the UK Committee on Climate Change 2050 policy scenario.

Tony Norton from the University of Exeter’s Centre for Energy and the Environment presented the report Net Zero Devon, a Devon projection of the UK Committee on Climate Change 2050 scenario.

4. Feedback and questions on the presentation

Task Force Members gave feedback on the report and asked questions to the authors of the report present, Tony Norton and Daniel Lash.

Action: Secretariat to share Tony’s email address with the Task Force.

Action: All Task Force Members requested to email further feedback and questions to Tony.

Action: Tony to share slides and Secretariat to share them with the Task Force.

Action: Tony and Dan to confirm how aviation is dealt with in the figures.

Action: Requested that the executive summary gives a simplified overview of the key priorities for tackling emissions in Devon and describes/ depicts the difference in emission profiles for urban and rural areas in Devon.

5. Review draft of hearing findings by services

The Task Force agreed that communicating activities and behaviours which we need to take to achieve net-zero, is more engaging and effective if framed as the consumption of end use services, e.g. heating your house, rather than producing electricity and fuels for the heating of houses. It was decided that this approach will be taken in future materials and communications when addressing the wider public.

6. Consideration of emerging gaps requiring further evidence or research.

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

Mobility (Nik and Kerry)

The Built Environment (Tim, James and Ian)

Energy and Waste (Kerry and Hannah)

Cross Cutting Themes (Harry, Nik, Hannah and James)

Chairs of each hearing shared initial thoughts on areas requiring further information and evidence.

Action: Chairs of hearings to give short summary presentations at the next Task Force Meeting 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) any further information required.

Action: Secretariat to code/tag public submissions of evidence in excel by subthemes/ services, sector, institution type and location where indicated.

Action: Chairs to review tagged evidence and to highlight areas where Secretariat could group or analyse the evidence in more detail

7. Citizens’ Assembly – next steps for procurement

An update from the Secretariat:

Procurement of Recruitment and Facilitation Provider

The estimated cost of the Assembly from the University of Exeter exceeds £100,000. Previously the estimated cost was £80,000. Above £100,000 requires a more formal procurement route to meet Devon County Council’s (DCC) financial regulations. The DCC Procurement Team will be able to provide support from February. This raises the risk that the citizens’ assembly may be delayed but best endeavours will be used to keep to the current May timetable. Other climate assemblies have been approached to ask if the Devon Climate Emergency can have sight of their procurement documents. This risk has been added to the Net-Zero Task Force’s risk register.

Incentive Payments to Participants

Tax advice suggests that the incentive payments to the assembly participants will be subject to income tax. This will further increase the cost of delivering the assembly, as the Devon Climate Emergency will need to pay the tax liability. A more accurate estimate of the cost for the citizens’ assembly will be taken to the next Response Group meeting.

Action: Ask Secretariat to pursue alternative methods of payment to participants, such as vouchers which avoid incurring tax.

Action: Secretariat to share more information regarding the tax implications of payment for the Citizens’ Assembly with Patrick.

Action: Patrick to enquire with contacts at other assemblies as to how they got around the above tax issues.

8. Using the Climate Emergency as a Material Planning Consideration

Opportunities for collaboration are being discussed at:

  • Greater Exeter Principals Group 21/1/20 (Chief Executive level)
  • Devon Planning Officers Group 23/1/20 (Spatial Planning officers from across Devon)
  • Heart of the South West Joint Committee 29/1/20
  • Association of Directors of Environment, Planning and Transport Climate Change Event 30/1/20 (national delegates)
  • South West Councils Conference 31/1/20 (Senior officers and councillors from all councils between Gloucestershire and Cornwall)

These conversations would not be happening had they not been initiated by the Devon Net-Zero Task Force.

Kerry updated the Task Force that she had been advised that there were a number of recent examples of the Climate Emergency being used as a material planning consideration – although the reason for refusal cited is incompatibility with the local plan policies, however discussion was made of the climate emergency:

At its meeting on the 18th December, the Response Group requested that this issue is addressed in partnership with other local authorities that will presumably be exploring this issue.

Action: Secretariat to report back on the outcomes of the above listed discussions of using the climate emergency as a material planning consideration.

Action:Secretariat to look into using section 106 funding for climate change interventions. Example of Exe estuary enhancement levy cited.

10. A vision for a net-zero Devon: Consider David Sergeant’s offer of putting in a funding bid about imagining futures + other options for exploring this further. (Patrick)

David Sergeant will be in touch with more information following an initial meeting with a number of the Task Force members and this information will be circulated to the wider Task Force before discussing how to proceed.

Action: At next Task Force Meeting confirm if pictorial depictions of the thematic hearings’ findings are still required.

11. AOB

Sue highlighted that the upcoming Local Nature Partnership conference will be on Climate Change and Emily reported that she had been contributing to drawing up of the agenda.

Action: Task Force to consider at next meeting whether they would like to capture and use the discussions from the Local Nature Partnership in any way.

Potential research project exploring the health impacts of pursuing a low carbon lifestyle raised by Emily.

Action: Emily to send more information about the research project to the Task Force.


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