Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Meeting 20th May

Contents:

Devon Climate Emergency Response Group Minutes 20th May. Download a PDF of the minutes here.

Attendees:

Response Group
Phil Norrey | Devon County Council
Emily Reed | Devon Climate Emergency
Hannah Oliver  | Devon Climate Emergency
Doug Eltham | Devon County Council (Environment)
Emma Page  | University of Exeter
Alex Gandy | Dartmoor National Park Authority
David Bartram | Exeter City Council
David Edmondson  | Torbay Council
Jason Ball | Mid Devon District Council
Emily Bullock | South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust
Andrew Butler  | National Farmers Union
Emmanuelle Marshall  | Plymouth City Council
Angus Berry  | South West Water
Janet Williams  | Torridge District Council
Roli Martin | Global City Futures
Chris Clarke | Wales and West Utilities
Paul Barnard  | Plymouth City Council

Apologies:

Penny Tranter  | Met Office
David Ralph  | Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership
Neil Hamlyn | Local Resilience Forum
Harry Barton | Devon Wildlife Trust
Clare Reid | Exmoor National Park Authority
Jane Grey  | NHS England
Melanie Sealey  | Devon County Council (Economy and Enterprise)
Kevin Jones  | University of Plymouth
Mel Squires  | National Farmers Union
Darin Halifax  | NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

Estelle Macrow                       Pennon 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 Partnership Update

Hannah Oliver provided an updated reflecting Section 1.1 of the Progress Report at Annexe 1 of these minutes and invited questions.

2.2 Net-Zero Task Force Update

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

Emily said that the responses received from Devon residents interested in joining the Climate Assembly were a bit lower than would be expected at this point, but there is still 14 days of recruitment left. Importantly, the demographic targets are being met from those that have responded so far.

2.3 Climate Impacts Group Update

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

3. Draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan Consultation Report

Emily asked the Group to provide feedback on the draft Consultation Report by the 4th June so that a final version could be brought to Group’s meeting on the 21st June for sign off and publication.

Chris Clarke suggested including within the Report a list of the Response Group organisations that had commented and a summary of what they had said.

ACTION: All to provide feedback on the draft Report by 4th June.

4. Revised timetable for the Interim and Final Carbon Plans

Doug reported that legal advice has indicated that the process for preparing the Final Devon Carbon Plan could be subject to a judicial review if the extra stage of public consultation on the recommendations from the Devon Climate Assembly is removed in in the interest of speeding up the process.

ACTION: The secretariat will revisit the timetable with the Tactical Group to look for other opportunities to speed up the process and bring a further recommendation to the Response Group on the 21st June.

5. Community Renewal Fund

The Group discussed known applications that are being made in the county to the Community Renewal Fund that will help implement the Devon Carbon Plan.

It was noted that getting ready to submit applications to the UK Social Resilience Fund when it arrives next year is a good idea.

6. Partner Updates

Phil Norrey said that Devon County Council has just welcomed a new four-year administration which has put climate change as a political and corporate priority within its strategy.

Andrew Buter noted that Conservation Without Borders is operating the Round Britain Climate Challenge (https://www.conservation-without-borders.org/) to fly around Britain in a wind and green electricity powered paramotor to raise awareness of the climate emergency.

Chris Clarke said that Wales and West’s Whole Energy Systems Model is available for local authorities and communities to use when developing an energy strategy which can help identify where regional nuances are important in selecting the most effective net-zero energy scenario.

Emma Page highlighted the University of Exeter’s ‘Environment and Carbon Tree’ initiative that is looking at what should be done and where within the organisation. Emma invited collaboration with others on this.

Angus Berry is preparing projects to enhance nature-based solutions for water quality, help customers reduce water demand further and use sustainable energy at a treatment works in Bournemouth. Additionally, 11 renewable energy projects are currently out for tender.

David Edmondson said that climate change is also a clear political priority in Torbay. A climate partnership is being developed in the area and Carbon Literacy training is being delivered to senior staff and councillors.

Appendix 1 – Project Progress Report

Period: April 2021 to May 2021

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.

COP 26

Partnership communications activity to coincide with the G7, the citizens assembly and COP26 continue to be developed. This will involve crowd funding competitions from South Hams, West Devon and Devon County Council. The Devon County Council competition is preparing its assessment criteria at the moment.

County Show

The Devon County Show is expected to proceed on 1/2/3/4 July and the Devon Climate Emergency will be featured on the Devon County Council stand. Hannah and Emily are developing the messages and materials to be shared. Jason Ball from Mid Devon DC is going to be part of the rota.

Youth Engagement

Hannah and Emily are evaluating options for youth engagement to along three strands – 1) raising awareness of the DCE initiative generally, 2) how to engage on issues to be discussed by the Assembly, and 3) providing curriculum support for schools longer term (generally making use of existing resources such as the Let’s Go Zero campaign and UN Climate Teachers initiative).

1.2. Partners’ Activity (GREEN)

Project Activity has been moved into a shared Excel file (attached to meeting papers email) where partners can keep their projects up to date each month. Projects that Group members wish to publicise appear on the DCE website and will be showcased in the project newsletter and on social media.

2. Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1. Interim Carbon Plan (GREEN)

The drafted consultation report summarising the 1321 submissions on the draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan has been shared with the Tactical Group and Response Group for comment. This will be brought to the Response Group for sign-off in June incorporating amendments from partners. 

Amendments are now being made to the Interim Devon Carbon Plan by the secretariat. A subsequent draft is expected to be available for partners’ comment during June, dependent upon resources required to arrange the citizens’ assembly.

2.2. Citizens’ Assembly (GREEN)

The Assembly Project Team has met twice to plan the detail of the Assembly. The Team comprises representatives from Involve, the Net-Zero Task Force, the Secretariat, Torbay Council and South Hams and West Devon Councils. 

Invitations were sent to 14,000 homes across Devon on the 11th May. This has included a selection of adult and children’s residential care homes. Briefing packs have been sent to local authorities’ customer service centres and councillors as well as all Parish Councils to ensure awareness of what is planned.

The Assembly Project Team is in the process of refining the six issues presented in the draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan to determine exactly how these will be deliberated. There will not be enough time to address all of the issues, even if grouped, and so the Team is looking at which of the issues are able to be addressed through other initiatives already running in the county, such as the Ruby Country Farming Futures Forum.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update [AMBER]

The Group, having collated risks from the local analysis and a review of the national risk register, continue to compile information about:

  1. The key organizations that are currently involved in mitigating or planning for the impacts arising from each risk
  2. Additional stakeholders who have an interest in each risk but who are not directly responsible
  3. Existing controls and reporting mechanisms for each risk.

This process will 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.

It was reported last month that the timetable for preparing the Adaptation Plan has slipped due to resource availability in the partner organisations.

At the April Climate Impacts Group meeting it was agreed to make use of volunteer time from graduates looking for work experience to progress this project, as well as explore opportunities for accessing national funding for time-limited staff resource via the Environment Agency for resilience-focussed aspects of the work. A subsequent meeting has been held between the secretariat and the Environment Agency which is promising: an update on this will be provided at the next meeting. 

4. Summary Comments

The Interim Devon Carbon Plan Consultation Report is now with the Tactical Group for comment and the Plan itself is being updated.

The Devon Climate Assembly planning has started and is on schedule.

Potential additional resource for the Climate Impacts Group has been identified and is looking promising.