Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Meeting 1st December

Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Minutes 1st December. Download a PDF of the minutes here.

Attendees:

Response Group
Doug Eltham (Chaired)  | Devon County Council
Phil Norrey | Devon County Council
Hannah Oliver  | Devon Climate Emergency
David Edmondson  | Torbay Council
Michael Titchford  | North Devon District Council
David Eaton | Teignbridge District Council
Emma Page  | University of Exeter
Helen Dobby  | Environment Agency
Sara Gibbs  | Public Health Devon
Harry Barton  | Devon Wildlife Trust

Apologies:

Emily Bullock  | South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Dan Ulanowsky  | Pennon Group
James Cooper  | Environment Agency
David Ralph  | Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership
Clare Reid  | Exmoor National Park Authority
Andrew Butler  | National Farmers’ Union
Jodie Wyatt  | Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

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 asked whether any partners are looking to apply to the second phase of the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme (GHG LAD) as Torbay Council is considering this. Partners on the call advised that their resources are stretched meeting the deadlines for implementing phase 1 of the scheme so applications for phase 2 are unlikely.

ACTION: Doug to share the Devon-wide phase 1 GHG LAD application paperwork to assist Torbay with their phase 2 application.

2.2. Update from the Net-Zero Task Force

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 these minutes. No further questions asked.

2.3. Update on the Climate Impacts Group

Helen Dobby provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes. No further questions asked.

3. Governance

Doug Eltham introduced one of the meeting papers that identified the need to continue discussions, as part of the consultation on the Interim Devon Carbon Plan, about future governance for the implementation of the Carbon Plan and the emerging Adaptation Plan. The Tactical Group has been discussing this for the past couple of months.

Helen noted that the governance arrangements could usefully link to the Environment Agency’s governance around its 2025 objectives.

Michael Titchford suggested we need to think how young people will be involved in the governance, and how links with the Covid recovery processes will be maintained.

Harry commented that how individuals are nominated to sit on each of the groups within the governance structure is key. Doug agreed and suggested that can be considered once a preferred governance system has been determined.

Sara Gibbs said that showing how links with government will be maintained would be helpful.

ACTION: All to provide further feedback on governance through the consultation on the Interim Devon Carbon Plan.

4. Online Citizens’ Assembly

Doug Eltham introduced a paper summarising the recommendations received from the University of Exeter about how the online assembly could operate to maximise the quality of deliberation.

The Response Group AGREED the following:

  1. Accepted the online solution for a citizens’ assembly to occur in July 2021.
  2. Endorsed the key findings outlined in the University of Exeter review
  3. Assigned the role of determining the final design of the citizens’ assembly to the independent Net-Zero Task Force on the premise that the final design does not deviate significantly from the recommendations in the review, and that the final design considers the recommendations from the initial University of Exeter report into the design of the physical citizens’ assembly and the subsequent discussion by the Response Group at its meeting on the 18th December 2019.
  4. Mandated Devon County Council to begin procurement of the citizens’ assembly recruitment and facilitation services in its role as the contracting authority.

ACTION: Secretariat to prepare procurement documentation and upload the latest review from the University to the website.

5. Local Updates

Harry and Michael noted that there is a lot of activity in the county regarding developing carbon offsetting standards and opportunities. We need to ensure this is aligned. Helen mentioned that there is a further opportunity for this to be linked to the adaptation work.

ACTION: Partners to meet to discuss carbon offsetting initiatives further.

Michael reported that North Devon and Torridge are looking at developing a Coastal Communities Management Plan that will look at how coastal communities can be supported through the changes that climate will bring.

6. Next Meeting

Next meeting is the 21st January 2021, 12pm.

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)

New website is now live and has been well received. Newsletters continue to be issued on schedule and social media followings are growing.

The project welcomes Hannah Oliver to the team as the new Climate Emergency Communications Graduate.

1.2. Spatial Planning (GREEN)

The DCE response to the Planning White Paper consultation has been submitted and is on the website.

1.3. COVID Reset (GREEN)

The Cosy Devon partnership submitted a DCE-wide application to the Green Homes Grant Local Authority Delivery Scheme.  This is a £1.2m bid to retrofit 100 homes by 31st March 2021. The bid was successful. Plymouth City Council, South Hams District Council and West Devon Borough Council also submitted successful bids.

The number of households that have expressed an interest in Devon Solar Together has exceeded expectations.

The full report on the Economy and Business Recovery to accompany the Team Devon COVID Prospectus has been delayed due to resources being focussed on government funding opportunities. Devon County Council has submitted a £300k application to the Woodland Trust’s Emergency Tree Fund to accelerate tree planting across the county. Will hear the outcome later in December.

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1. Citizens’ Assembly (GREEN)

The University of Exeter’s research and advice on the effectiveness of online deliberations has been completed and it is proposed that the procurement process for the recruitment and facilitation provider would commence in January, with paperwork largely prepared in December. Conversations with the Devon CC Procurement Team have occurred to schedule the necessary support.

2.2. Drafting the Interim Plan (GREEN)

Plan Sections

A draft of all sections was shared with partners on the 7th October. Partners had until the 2nd November to identify any significant concerns with the plan’s wording ahead of the public consultation from the 7th December. Thank you for the comments received.

In the meantime, the Task Force and the secretariat have continued refining the draft for consultation

Net-Zero Timetable

The Task Force’s proposal for Devon’s Net-Zero timetable is was considered by the Response Group on the 28th October. It was agreed that the target date for achieving net-zero across Devon will be a specific topic of the public consultation with the challenges of 2050, 2040 and 2030 described.

Action Scheduling Diagrams

Diagrams identifying when each of the actions in the plan needs to be implemented to align with the Committee on Climate Change net-zero scenario for 2050 are being prepared by the University of Exeter. There will be one diagram for each section. Additionally, the diagram will demonstrate the carbon emissions reduction trajectory over the next 30 years. Using these diagrams, five-year carbon budgets will be prepared for Devon to help with the monitoring of the implementation of the plan.


Clearly, if it is subsequently concluded that the target date for Devon to achieve net-zero needs to be before 2050 then the modelling will need be updated for the final version of the Plan.

Communicating the Consultation

Communication elements of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan consultation are being finalised.

  • The Plan is principally an online document with hard copies available on request and via libraries.
  • There is a consultation questionnaire asking specific questions and opinions on the Plan’s content.
  • A webinar series will run during the 10-week consultation period aimed at different audiences and focusing on different aspects of the Plan.
  • Offline audiences are being reached through: adverts in print media; a press pack distributed to media outlets and parish councils; posters in schools and parish council notice boards.
  • Extensive social media content has been developed, including animations and videos.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update

3.1. Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change

Most of the narratives are now complete. The one remaining is being completed by the University of Exeter, which is an understanding of wider social and economic risks. The Environment Agency has made national resource available to cross-reference the locally-identified risks with the national climate risk register to check for omissions in our local analysis.


All of the risks identified are now being brought together by narrative authors into one register with the assistance of 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 Devon Climate Emergency is now in an advanced phase of assembling and editing the Interim Plan ahead of commencing the public consultation on 7th December.


The Climate Impacts Group is making progress with the narratives and the offer of support from the national Environment Agency team will help keep things moving.

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