Devon County Council supports young people’s climate change concerns

Jason Blackeye on Unsplash

Posted on: 15 February 2019

Devon County Council (DCC) fully welcomes and supports the aims of young people across the UK who are protesting about climate change today (Friday 15 February).

Their aims and objectives are consistent with those of DCC whose cabinet has recommended that the authority declare a ‘climate emergency’ at Full Council on February 21.

The cabinet also recommends that DCC adopts a key recommendation of the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – for Devon to become carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest.

It is already DCC policy to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, exceeding the IPCC’s target by five per cent. Since 2012/2013 DCC’s emissions have reduced by 36%, on track to meet the IPCC’s target.

Both measures, say the IPCC, are essential to arrest the increase in global temperatures.

Last year the IPCC’s 15th Special Report warned of the devastation a 2°C rise in global temperatures would cause.

A 2°C rise in global temperatures, it said, would put up to 30% of all species at risk of extinction.

But by reducing emissions and thereby limiting warming to 1.5°C, 50% fewer species would  be at risk of significant habitat loss, 10 million fewer people would lose their homes due to sea level rises and 420 million fewer people would be exposed to extreme heatwaves.

Now DCC is working with strategic partners across the county to ensure that the whole county – and not just the authority – is on the right course to meet IPCC’s carbon reduction recommendations.

Partners include Natural Devon (the Local Nature Partnership), the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, the Exeter and East Devon Low Carbon Task Force and the Devon Community Energy Network.

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said:

Cllr Roger Croad

“There is no doubt there is a climate emergency and unless something is done, climate change will affect people, the environment, business and our prosperity.

“We fully support the objectives of young people to reduce carbon emissions and DCC has been working hard for many years to ensure that we are on course to meet the IPCC’s carbon reduction recommendations.

“We are working with strategic partners to develop a plan to ensure that Devon meets the internationally recognised target of carbon neutrality by 2050.

“If we are to stem the increase in global temperatures everyone of all ages and all walks of life has to work together.”

4 comments on “Devon County Council supports young people’s climate change concerns

  1. caspar hughes says:

    I spoke to Andrew Leadbetter and John Hart today. It is abundantly clear that neither of them have very much knowledge of the increasing probability of short term climate breakdown.

    Tipping points are being rapidly breached, environmental breakdown is starting to move into non linear change, which means we have very little time to react. This increases the chances of the climate change effecting us far sooner than we realise. There are internationally renowned scientists discussing the possibility of society collapsing as soon as 5 years and the chances of collapse by 2060 are increasing every year we continue to emit CO2 at our current rate.

    John Hart bizarrely says we can’t have water without oil, but the reality is the students protesting today won’t have a future if we have oil.

    Becoming carbon neutral by 2050 isn’t good enough, it is merely pushing the problem onto these children and we’ve run out of time to do that. The council must join the growing group of councils around the country that are targeting 2030 for carbon neutrality.

  2. Godfrey Whitehouse says:

    DCC policy is to reduce their own emissions by 50% by 2030 – see their downloadable Climate Change Strategy 2018. They appear to be well on the way to delivering that mainly through national reductions in carbon intensity in electricity supply, changing to LED lighting etc. However, their own emissions are less than 0.5% of Devon emissions. The debate should be about how to reduce Devon emissions. That will be debated at the full Council on Thursday 21st and it seems likely that the motion to set a target to be carbon neutral by 2030 will be defeated.
    Come along to talk tonight (15th) at 7.00pm at The Mint in Fore Street Exeter organised by the local XR group. Talk is by Aaron Thierry, an Earth Scientist and is entitled The Brutal Logic of Climate Change. There will be a discussion about what we as individuals can do.

  3. Clive Pierce says:

    “It is already DCC policy to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2030, exceeding the IPCC’s target by five per cent. Since 2012/2013 DCC’s emissions have reduced by 36%,”
    I am deeply skeptical of the claims made here.
    We need to be clear about the scale and speed of the changes required to deliver net zero greenhouse gas emissions. These imply radical transformations of the economy and society to deliver local production and consumption of the essentials for existence and very little else.
    This means an end to capitalism, consumerism, a substantial proportion of modern industry and most of the luxuries that go with it. We must return to a life style that our pre-industrial forbears would recognise – subsistence living, albeit aided by some modern technologies.
    Nothing less can deliver net zero emissions. To suggest that DCC can deliver this without an emergency budget and new legislation from central government is frankly ridiculous.
    An atmospheric scientist

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