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Devon Carbon Plan

This is the full length Devon Carbon Plan all the background information, research and detail regarding how Devon can become net-zero across five intersecting themes. This version is best suited to anyone looking to learn about the full scope of the climate emergency in Devon, and how Devon will tackle this. 


Economy and resources

  • Avoiding waste and creating a circular economy
  • Reducing emissions from unavoidable biodegradable waste and wastewater treatment
  • Using the purchasing power of Devon’s organisations
  • Supporting communities and businesses to transition to net-zero

7.1 Introduction

Historically we have made products, used them and then thrown them away. This behaviour, referred to as the linear economy, creates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions during manufacturing, transportation to the customer and disposal. Emissions in Devon resulting from manufacturing and transport are reported in other sections of this Plan. Waste disposal contributes 9% of Devon’s GHG emissions.1  Our purchasing of goods produced abroad creates emissions overseas which represent 39% of the total emissions Devon is responsible for. 

The linear economy is also ecologically damaging because the collection of raw materials harms habitats and is water and energy intensive, whilst the disposal of waste requires space and can pollute the environment. The environment’s ability to produce resources and process waste has limits.2 If the whole world lived like we do in the UK, we would need four planets to provide the materials we use and to process the waste we discard to sustain our lifestyle indefinitely.3

This section of the Plan describes what needs to happen to achieve a socially-just and net-zero carbon economy that has the potential to create up to 700,000 jobs in low-carbon sectors across England by 2030.4 It introduces goals for overcoming issues identified during the Thematic Hearings and the public Call for Evidence as barriers to achieving net-zero. Actions are then proposed to achieve the goals. 

7.2 The Change Needed

7.2.1 Avoid waste and create a circular economy  

7.2.2 Reduce emissions from unavoidable biodegradable waste and wastewater treatment

7.2.3 Use the purchasing power of Devon’s organisations

7.2.4 Support communities and businesses to transition to net-zero

7.3 Greenhouse Gas Outcomes

7.4 Other Opportunities and Benefits

7.5 Devon’s Goals to Meet Net-Zero

7.5.1 Goal EA – A Culture of ‘Enoughness’ is Created

7.5.2 Goal EB – Most Materials are Recycled 

7.5.3 Goal EC – The Management of Biodegradable Waste Minimises Greenhouse Gas Emissions

7.5.4 Goal ED – Procurement by Anchor Institutions Contributes to Net-Zero

7.5.5 Goal EE – Devon’s Economy Seizes the Net-Zero Opportunity

7.5.6 Goal EF – Devon has the Skills to Meet Net-Zero 

7.5.7 Goal EG – Devon has Access to the Finance Needed for Net-Zero

7.6  Summary of the Actions

7.7 Milestones

7.8 References

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