Devon Carbon Plan

Summary

The Devon Carbon Plan is the roadmap for how Devon will reach net-zero emissions by 2050 (at the latest). It has been built on detailed, ongoing assessments of Devon’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Broadly speaking, emissions in Devon can be divided into five key sectors: economy and resources, energy supply, food, land and sea, transport, and the built environment.. The Devon Carbon Plan will outline actions for how each of these sectors can reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

Organisations around Devon are not waiting for the final publication to begin working towards net-zero. To find out more about what’s happening in Devon, take a look at our Taking Action pages.

Approach:

Creating the Devon Carbon Plan involves five main stages. During the first stage, our Net Zero Task Force took a robust, evidence-led approach, with an open call for evidence from the public and organisations wishing to contribute. Next, after we had developed the Interim Devon Carbon Plan, we asked for public feedback during a consultation. Following the successful completion of the Citizens’ Assembly, the secretariat is now planning a public consultation on the actions developed in response to the assembly’s recommendations.

The Task Force

A Net-Zero Task Force was appointed, using its specialist knowledge and experience to produce an evidence-led Devon Carbon Plan. The Task Force reviewed the evidence, and found that 2050 was the earliest, credible, date that should be set for net-zero emissions.

The Net-Zero Task Force is chaired by Patrick Devine Wright who is a professor at the University of Exeter and leading climate expert and IPCC author.

The members have considerable expertise in topics relevant to carbon reduction and are drawn from economic, environmental, health, community and academic organisations.

Read the Net-Zero Task Force terms of reference

Stages

Between October 2019 and January 2020 the Task Force ran a call for evidence and conducted a series of thematic hearings (meetings), to help gather views, evidence and data which has created a foundation from which to develop recommendations for the Devon Carbon Plan.

The Task Force assessed all available data and contributions from the evidence gathering phase to identify which actions can be adopted more easily across Devon. These ideas were used to produce a draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan that was published for consultation on the 7th December 2020. Ideas that were deemed more controversial or challenging to implement will be presented to the Citizens’ Assembly in June and July of 2021 to ensure the recommendations in the Final Devon Carbon Plan reflect the opinions of Devon’s citizens.

The views of the general public will continue to play an important role in the production of the Final Devon Carbon Plan.  The more challenging or controversial issues will be put to a Citizens’ Assembly in summer 2021. The assembly will comprise a representative sample of Devon’s citizens from different social backgrounds, including young people over 16. They will have the opportunity to develop informed opinions and collectively develop, discuss and review policy recommendations on decarbonising Devon.

Following the Devon Climate Assembly, the Devon Climate Emergency Partnership has worked together to develop actions that respond to assembly member’s recommendations. We plan to consult the public on these actions, to ensure that the actions are fair, democratic and help us achieve net-zero. 

Once the public consultation has concluded, the Net-Zero Task Force will bring everything together to produce a draft Final Devon Carbon Plan.

A brief summary of the changes that are needed to create a net-zero Devon.

The Interim Devon Carbon Plan in 8 Points. 1. Fossil fuels are no longer an energy source. We use more renewable energy Communities are active in energy issues We walk, cycle & use electric vehicles. 2. Energy consumption is minimal. We drive less, we are active & healthy Services are local, reducing travel needs All buildings are more efficient 3. Community action for a net-zero Devon. We think innovatively Communities share ideas of net-zero Citizens are at the centre of change 4. Carbon captured from fuels burnt. Only used for unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions Devon pilots carbon capture & storage projects e.g. catching smoke from industrial chimneys
5. Escaping greenhouse gas emissions are minimised. Reduce escaping gases from sewage works, landfill & electrical equipment 6. Develop a resilient local economy. A circular, just, regenerative economy Reskill workers e.g. in renewable energy We spend money locally 7.Resources are used more circularly. We consume fewer materials Reduce household & commercial waste We reuse, repair & recycle more 8. Maximise natural carbon storage. Adapt to climate impacts e.g. flood controls Trees planted & habitats restored We enjoy healthy, locally sourced foods