Net Zero Task Force Meeting Minutes 21st April

Net Zero Task Force Draft Minutes 21st April 2021. Download a PDF copy of the minutes here.

Attendees:

  • Sue Goodfellow (Vice Chair)
  • Doug Eltham
  • Emily Reed
  • Hannah Oliver
  • Kerry Hayes
  • Lyndis Cole
  • Nik Bowyer
  • Tim Jones
  • Harry Bonnell
  • Iain Bailey (from Item 3.3)
  • James Shorten
  • Gill Westcott
  • Iain Stewart (from Item 3.4)
  • Kaela Scott (from Involve)
  • Dominic Ward (from Involve)

Apologies:

  • Patrick Devine-Wright (Chair)
  • Hannah Lawrie

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

It was AGREED that the minutes are a true record of the discussion.

Action carried forward: Emily will meet with Lyndis to discuss how the carbon savings anticipated from more of the actions can be quantified.

As an update following Ian Hutchcroft’s attendance at the Response Group to discuss system change actions, Emily reported that Global City Futures presented at the April meeting of the Response Group about innovative financing models they are testing. These identify all of the existing local revenue streams associated with a particular service, such as a providing mobility or housing, and then look at how those revenue streams could be pooled to design new low-carbon services for local communities.

The Response Group have agreed to remove the public consultation on the recommendations of the citizens’ assembly. This means that the Devon Carbon Plan will be updated for endorsement by the partner organisations by April 2022 rather than January 2023.

2. Government’s new target

The Task Force discussed government’s new legal target of reducing 1990 greenhouse gas emission levels by 78% by 2035.  This is the target recommended by the Committee on Climate Change in its advice to government in December 2020 on the 6th Carbon Budget.

The target sounds like a considerable increase, but in reality it is a marginal increase in ambition. Doug advised this is because the baseline for the new target is set at 1990 emissions levels rather than 2010. This means that the new target exceeds the 2035 ambition of the Devon Carbon Plan by about 10% on 2010 levels.  

Lyndis pointed out that the national policies are yet to be developed to achieve the new target so the existing policy gap has now got even bigger.

Nik noted that aviation is now included in the national target. Doug added that we do have estimated figures for aviation in Devon, which are described in the Devon Carbon Plan, and it’s thought to be less than 1% of Devon’s emissions.

It was AGREED to:

  • Not update the Devon Carbon Plan’s emissions trajectory at the moment, but instead to get on with implementing the Plan and keep it under review (as already agreed with the project partners) based on local progress and any further shifts in national ambition
  • Make the aviation emissions estimates more prominent in the forthcoming iteration of the Devon Carbon Plan

3. Citizens’ Assembly

3.1 Introduction from Involve

Kaela Scott is the Director of Innovation Practice, and Dominic Ward is a Senior Project Officer at Involve. Involve is a small charity with a voluntary governance board. Kaela provided an overview of how the citizens’ assembly is expected to function.

Kaela recommended that attitudinal data should be collected from potential participants to help select the final 70. This is recommended to ensure that a mix of views on climate change are part of the assembly which helps minimise criticism of the approach should no sceptical views be present. National altitudinal data will be used to indicate the size of the sample that should reflect the different opinions.

Kaela confirmed that 70 people is an appropriate number to reflect the population of Devon, as recommended by the review that the University of Exeter undertook on the use of citizens’ assemblies. Kaela further confirmed that online deliberation is successful – the Scottish Climate Assembly, run by Involve, has just concluded entirely online.

3.2 Project team representation

Alongside the secretariat, Jacqui Warren from Torbay Council and Adam Williams from South Hams and West Devon councils will sit on the project team with Harry, Patrick and Gill.

The role will be to take delegated decisions, in good time, on behalf of the Task Force and the project partners to keep the project to the tight schedule. Sue asked for the rest of the Task Force to be kept updated on a need to know basis and Emily encouraged Task Force members to feed questions or concerns into the Project Team via herself or Harry, Patrick and Gill.

3.3 Assembly chair

Kaela described how assemblies, particularly online, tend not to use a chair as there isn’t particularly a need for one.

Kaela said that the lead facilitator will hold the process together, host question and answer sessions, introduce speakers, take plenary feedback and organise the decision making. This is not a chair role, it’s a neutral facilitation role. Kaela further clarified that each of the breakout rooms will have a professional facilitator to help people to work together effectively.

The Task Force AGREED that the assembly will not have a chair.

3.4 Refining the issues for deliberation

Emily reminded the Task Force about progress at the last meeting about blending the six issues identified in the Interim Devon Carbon Plan. Kaela advised that we will need to discuss the six issues further and accept there will be an element of compromise on depth of discussion vs breadth of discussion.

Kaela led the Task Force through a process of establishing agreed outcomes and overarching themes of operation for the assembly that will help steer how the issues are presented to the assembly.

Action: All Task Force members to reflect on the framing of the issues for the assembly and feed thoughts to Patrick, Gill and Harry by 4th May for further discussion at the Project Team.

4. Communications update and strategy

Hannah described some options that have been developed to engage under 16s and invited feedback from the Task Force on these.

Nik supported the option to engage young people alongside the assembly to get them involved in the same issues that the assembly are discussing.

Action: Task Force members to feedback thoughts on engaging under 16s to Hannah

5.  Consultation Report

A draft of the Consultation Report on the consultation exercise on the Interim Devon Carbon Plan has been shared with the Task Force for comment.

This will be shared with the Tactical Group ahead of its meeting on the 13th May 2021 for their input.

Action: Task Force members to provide comment on the Consultation Report to Emily, ideally before 10th May to allow updates to be made before sharing with the Tactical Group.