Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Meeting 18th February

Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Minutes 18th February. Download a PDF of the minutes here.

Attendees:

Response Group
Phil Norrey | Devon County Council
Doug Eltham  | Devon County Council
Hannah Oliver  | Devon Climate Emergency
Emily Reed | Devon Climate Emergency
Emma Page  | University of Exeter
Angus Berry | South West Water
Jeremy Mann  | North Devon District Council
David Barton | Exeter City Council
Harry Barton  | Devon Wildlife Trust
Steve Brown | Public Health Devon
David Edmondson  | Torbay Council
James Cooper  | Environment Agency
David Eaton | Teignbridge District Council
Jane Gray | NHS England
Paul Cottington  | National Farmers Union
Emmanuelle Marshall  | Plymouth City Council
Kevin Jones  | University of Plymouth

Apologies:

Penny Tranter  | Met Office
Sara Gibbs  | Public Health Devon
David Eaton | Teignbridge District Council
David Ralph  | Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership
Clare Reid  | Exmoor National Park Authority Alex Gandy  | Dartmoor National Park Authority
Harry Barton | Devon Wildlife Trust
Janet Williams  | Torridge District Council Helen Dobby | Environment Agency Dan Ulanowsky | Pennon Group
Janet Williams  | Torridge District Council Andrew Butler  | National Farmers Union Steve Brown | Public Health Devon David Eaton | Teignbridge District Council

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were AGREED as a true record of the discussion.

2. Project Progress Report

2.1. Project Management Update

Doug Eltham invited questions about Section 1 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

David Edmondson commented that Torbay Council is intending to bid for Phase 2 Green Homes Grant funding which offers a major skills opportunity. David Bartram added that the Local Enterprise Partnership is including building retrofit in its prospectus.

2.2. Update from the Net-Zero Task Force

Hannah Oliver and Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 these minutes.

No further questions.

2.3. Update on the Climate Impacts Group

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes.

No further questions.

3. Partner Updates

Devon County Council – Phil Norrey said that the Council’s consultation response to the draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan had been debated positively by Cabinet in February. £2.2m capital allocation has been made by Council to start implementing the Corporate Carbon Reduction Plan. Currently testing the market to start purchasing carbon offsets via the Woodland Carbon Code.

University of Exeter – Emma Page advised that the University’s 10 Year Plan is going to their Board at the end of February. Approaches have started coming from students asking to help with this agenda for their dissertations. Starting to compile communications plans for the G7 and COP26.

ACTION: Emily to start compiling a list of potential research that students could help with, and circulate this list to partners to add to.

Torbay Council – David Edmondson reported that Torbay Council’s consultation response went through Council and has been submitted.

Exeter City Council  – David Bartram highlighted new workstreams looking at opportunities to help the commercial sector treat more commercial waste locally; looking at opportunities for more EV charging that will keep the revenue local; and Western Power Distribution’s consultation about known projects needing a grid connection which closes on the 19th March 2020. Exeter City Council will be submitting a response.

Plymouth City Council – Emmanuelle Marshall advised that two climate action plans have been developed (one for corporate activity and one for reducing area-wide emissions) and will continue to be implemented in 2021.  University of Plymouth – Kevin Jones said that the university’s climate strategy has been approved by their governing body. The Future Plymouth 2030 initiative is running a series of webinars through to May this year.

ACTION: The Future Plymouth 2030 initiative to be publicised through Devon Climate Emergency communications.

South West Water – Angus Berry reported that he is a new officer in post to focus on the 2030 pledge to be carbon neutral. Their plans are acting on energy efficiency, water efficiency, renewable energy and upland catchment restoration.

Environment Agency – James Cooper said that they are working on a net-zero roadmap that will be launched in the next few months, which will include actions to address emissions from construction projects by incorporating considerations into project appraisal methodologies. Also looking at options for carbon offsetting. 

4. Any Other Business

None.

5. Next Meeting

Appendix 1 – Project Progress Report

Period: October to November 2020

Status Indicator key:

Red = Serious issue that requires Response Group intervention;

Amber = Minor issue that will initially be managed by the secretariat, but the Response Group should be aware;

Green = No issue.

1. Project Management Update

1.1. General Project Communications (GREEN)

Newsletters continue to be issued on schedule and social media followings are growing.

1.2. Highlights of Devon-Wide Projects (GREEN)

Update on a selection of Devon-wide projects:

Buildings

The Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme projects are now in their implementation phase. The third lockdown is likely to affect delivery (funding is meant to be spent by March 31st) and so most projects are discussing extensions with BEIS.

Various local authorities in Devon have submitted bids to the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme for building retrofit.

Energy Supply

Devon Solar Together – over 913 households are now receiving roof surveys over the next few months.

Transport

The Rapid Charging Exeter project (expected to install up to 150 on-street vehicle charging posts in Exeter) has started the Traffic Regulation Order process for phase 1.

Twenty-five car parks across Devon will be receiving charging posts via the DELETTI project this year. Devon County Council has submitted a bid to the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme for a second phase of a further 48 public car parks.

Food, Land and Sea

Devon Strategic Food Partnership hosted its ‘The Beginning of the Journey’ webinar on 11 February 2021 to share progress so far, hear from some key speakers with food partnership experience locally and nationally, and start the conversation around building a strategic food partnership for Devon.

The Devon Wildlife Trust continues to facilitate the preparation of a Nature Recovery Network with Natural Devon to guide opportunities for habitat enhancement and carbon sequestration.

1.2. Funding Successes (GREEN)

Public Health Devon has been successful in receiving funding to kickstart a Devon Food Partnership initiative. Further details in due course.

Devon CC has received further Heat Network Delivery Unit funding to push forward aspirations to use the waste heat from the Exeter EfW. Further details in due course.

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1. Interim Carbon Plan (GREEN)

The consultation for the Interim Carbon Plan closed on the 15th February.

The webinar series is now complete and was well received.

The final week of the public engagement strategy was monitored and adjusted in response to evidence of who and how people are being reached. Younger audiences were under-represented despite targeted adverts on YouTube and Instagram, and TikTok content. We reached out to social media influencers, Fridays for Future, the Devon Youth Parliament and the Devon Explorer Scouts Facebook group.

An ‘Eight Point Plan’ reflecting the Plan’s objectives was developed to engage social media audiences through a short video.

About 1300 responses were received by email and via the online questionnaire. This exceeds the number received for the Call for Evidence (934) last year.

The secretariat will prepare a consultation report for the Net-Zero Task Force and the partnership for sign-off by the Response Group. An early draft of this report will be available for the next Response Group meeting on the 18th March. As agreed at the last meeting, a revised timetable for the completion of the Interim Carbon Plan and the Final Plan (following the assembly) will also be brought to the 18th March Response Group meeting, taking account of the number of consultation responses and the learnings from the Interim Carbon Plan consultation process. 

2.2. Citizens’ Assembly Procurement (GREEN)

The procurement process for the recruitment and facilitation provider of the Assembly closed on the 12th February. The evaluation of bids is being undertaken by Devon County Council. Contract start date will be the 8th April. Planning of how the sessions will run will start following analysis of the consultation submissions about the Interim Devon Carbon Plan, which will help identify the most controversial issues to be deliberated.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update

3.1. Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change

A workshop to assign prioritisation scores to the climate risks identified by the group was held on the 27th January 2021, facilitated by the Local Resilience Forum secretariat.

The next stage is to identify the gaps in local preparedness for these risks. Actions required to fill these gaps will form the basis of the Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Climate Adaptation Plan.

4. Summary Comments

The Interim Devon Carbon Plan public consultation has now closed. Refinements to the consultation have substantially increased submissions. Analysis of the submissions now continues.

Evaluation of the tender submissions to help design and facilitate the citizens’ assembly is in progress.

The Climate Impacts Group continues to make progress with the narratives and risk assessments.

As a whole, the project is continuing to make good progress.