County council leader supports Devon Climate Declaration
Posted on: 22 May 2019
Devon County Council’s leader John Hart has backed the Devon Climate Declaration, which commits signatories to work together to reduce carbon emissions across the county.
Earlier this year Devon County Council (DCC) declared a ‘climate emergency’ and pledged to work with ‘strategic stakeholders’ to ensure that the county of Devon becomes carbon neutral.
Today the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG) endorsed the underlying principles of the declaration – to reduce carbon emissions through ‘collective action, innovation and influence’.
In a telephone meeting chaired by DCC’s Chief Executive Phil Norrey, the DCERG – made up of executives and chief officers of about 20 organisations including councils, emergency services and business groups – were asked to sign up to the declaration ‘as quickly as their procedures allowed.’
By signing the declaration, organisations would be committing to support a range of measures and initiatives including lobbying government to prioritise decarbonisation and to provide the resources and funding necessary to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon and resilient economy and society.
Each member would also be committing to publish annual progress reports of their organisation’s decarbonisation programme.
Last week DCC’s ruling Cabinet agreed to set aside £250,000 towards this initiative to persuade organisations, communities and individuals to do more to reduce global warming.
Some of this money will be earmarked to develop the Devon-wide Carbon Plan, a ‘road map’ to help ensure that the county becomes carbon neutral, and to fund a dedicated project officer.
DCERG also agreed yesterday to initiate the next stage, for the 20 organisations to co-design and cost within the next month a process for preparing the Devon-wide Carbon Plan. The plan will also include a ‘citizens assembly’ to ensure Devon’s residents have a voice in the process.
“Individually we have the knowledge, skills and technologies to reduce carbon emissions and each member realises that only by working in concert can we hope to realise our ambition of Devon becoming carbon neutral.”
Councillor John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council said: “I agree with Dr
Norrey that the world is at a turning point where the effects of climate change are already being felt, and if left unchecked climate change will profoundly affect the environment, our prosperity and our quality of life.
“We clearly can’t do this alone and that’s why Devon County Council is working hard to bring organisations, communities and individuals together to take collective action.
“I will be taking a report to Cabinet recommending that our council adopts this Devon Climate Declaration.
“Only by working together with strategic partners can we develop and implement an effective plan to ensure that Devon is on the right trajectory to meet the IPCC’s carbon reduction recommendations.”Posted in: Environment | Politics