Environment

Net-Zero Task Force meet for the first time

Posted on: 23 September 2019

The first step in Devon’s journey towards carbon neutrality was taken today when Devon’s Net-Zero Task Force met for the first time.

The Task Force is a team of environmental experts, academics, community representatives and business leaders who have volunteered their time for free to deliver Devon’s Carbon Plan.

It follows Devon County Council committing £250,000 to help fund the carbon plan and a Citizen’s Assembly.

Most of Devon’s greenhouse gas emissions arise from our production and consumption of energy – whether that’s driving cars, manufacturing goods or simply boiling a kettle.

Once completed, the carbon plan will provide a blue print detailing how the county can accelerate its journey to become carbon neutral – and what Devon must do to make this possible.

The carbon plan will also set out the earliest credible date that should be set for net-zero emissions.

One of the first tasks is to identify the level of emissions produced in Devon.
There are currently no up to date figures for emissions solely produced within the area of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.

This work will also identify the level of emissions produced in this area by sectors including building, industry, transport, agriculture and waste.

Depending on the level of emissions produced by each sector, these sectors will then form the basis of a series of ‘thematic hearings’ to take place later in this year.

The results of these hearings will help determine what emissions need to be reduced and where, forming a key part of the carbon plan.

The Task Force also heard that the final report by Exeter University on how the Citizen’s Assembly will be organised will be delivered by December.

Patrick Devine-Wright, Chair of the Net Zero Task Force and Professor in Human Geography at the University of Exeter said:
“The science is clear that our planet is warming at an alarming rate and our actions individually and collectively will make a difference to the future of our planet and society – for better or for worse. It is vital that we work together across organisations and communities to address the biggest challenge of our age.
“I’m honoured to chair the Devon Net Zero Task Force which will bring together experts and citizens to work on the urgent actions that will reduce the county’s carbon emissions to net-zero. I strongly believe that there are opportunities to improve our personal wellbeing and to strengthen our communities through environmental action. Wherever you live in Devon and whatever your background, you can make a difference. I hope through the Citizens Assembly, Expert Hearings and Public Consultation, we can engage people from all walks of life to tackle the climate emergency and create a Carbon Plan for Devon.”

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