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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. 



  • Reducing the need to travel
  • Shifting to sustainable transport options
  • Using technology to reduce emissions from vehicles

10.1  Introduction

Transport accounts for 30% of Devon’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The overwhelming majority of these (98%) is from road transport. The remaining 2% is from rail. The sector is the second-largest emitter of GHG in the County and the UK behind buildings.1

Devon’s aviation and shipping emissions are not included in the transport footprint due to the incomplete nature of the emissions data and high levels of uncertainty. Estimates of emissions for flights departing from Exeter Airport would add 9% to Devon’s transport emissions (3% of total emissions). Estimated emissions from fishing vessels would add 1% to Devon’s transport emissions (0.3% of total emissions).1 

Reducing emissions from our transport needs is key to reaching net-zero. Addressing this challenge will require a combination of changing our behaviour, legislation and technology. Our personal travel, as opposed to goods, accounts for around two-thirds of all transport emissions. Transforming how we travel provides the opportunity to create wider benefits for our health, safety, finances and enjoyment of public space. 

This section describes what needs to happen to achieve a net-zero transport system in Devon based mainly on the Climate Change Committee’s Further Ambition Scenario. It subsequently introduces a set of goals which need to be achieved to overcome issues that the Net-Zero Task Force has learned from the Thematic Hearings and the Public Call for Evidence are barriers to achieving net-zero. Actions are proposed to achieve the goals.

10.2 The Change Needed

10.2.1 Reduce the need to travel

10.2.2 Shift to sustainable transport options

10.2.3 Use technology to reduce emissions from vehicles

10.3 Greenhouse Gas Outcomes

10.4 Other Opportunities and Benefits

10.5 Devon’s Goals to Meet Net-Zero

10.5.1 Goal TA – Relocalisation and Technology Reduces Our Need to Travel

10.5.2 Goal TB – Using Active, Shared and Public Transport is Safe, Efficient and Affordable

10.5.3 Goal TC – Alternatives to Private Car Use Are Available Alongside Measures to Make Car-Use Less Attractive

10.5.4 Goal TD – It is Easy to Transition Between Different Types of Travel and Transport

10.5.5 Goal TE – Electric Vehicles Become Commonplace

10.5.6 Goal TF – Flying is Reduced and Devon is Contributing to Low Carbon Aviation

10.5.7 Goal TG – Freight Distribution is More Efficient

10.5.8 Goal TH – Larger Vehicles have Transitioned to Low Carbon Technologies

10.6 Summary of the Actions

10.7 Milestones

10.8 References

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