Tactical Group Meeting Minutes 11th August 2021

Devon Climate Emergency Tactical Group minutes of meeting 14th July 2021.
You can download a PDF of the minutes here.

Attendees

Doug Eltham Devon County Council 
Emily Reed Devon Climate Emergency  
Emily Widdecombe Devon Climate Emergency 
John Amosford Public Health Devon  
Jason Ball Mid Devon District Council 
William Elliott Teignbridge District Council 
Adam Williams South Hams and West Devon Councils 
John Golding East Devon District Council 
Louise Sawyer Devon and Cornwall Police 
Victoria Hatfield Exeter City Council 
Catherine Causley East Devon District Council 
Jade Kennerley South West Water 

Apologies

Andy Seaman University of Exeter 
Donna Sibley Torridge and North Devon District Councils 
Samantha Davies University of Plymouth 
Jacqui Warren Torbay Council 
Harry Barton Devon Wildlife Trust 
David Rose South West Water 
Neil Hamlyn Local Resilience Forum 
Sara Gibbs Public Health Devon 
Lynda Wookey Exeter City Futures 

1. Welcome to new staff

The Group welcomed Emily Widdecombe who has replaced Hannah Oliver in the post of Climate Emergency Engagement Officer.  

2. Minutes of Previous Meeting

The minutes were AGREED to be a true record of the discussion.

3. Project Progress Report

3.1 Project Management Update 

Emily Widdecombe provided an update reflecting Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.  

In addition the Group discussed the need to understand better how the DCE project can engage with a wider audience to encourage more people in Devon to make small changes to their everyday lives to help reach net-zero.  

Emily Reed and Emily Widdecombe are exploring: the use of Experian Mosaic data to categorise different audiences; messaging recommendations from the Climate Outreach project; and will speak further with Public Health Devon (to learn from their experience of helping people take responsibility for their own health) and behaviour-change specialists at the University of Exeter to enhance the DCE Communications Plan. Early conversations have also been had about mobile phone apps that could be used to reward people to change behaviours.  

John Amosford reminded the Group that some actions that may seem simple actually need structural change to support them, such as using active travel or public transport more regularly.   

The shared spreadsheet the Group has tried to use to record all of the projects we are collectively implementing has not worked well. Instead, we’ll revert to partners sending Emily Reed and Emily Widdecombe ad-hoc updates about the projects you are implementing. The secretariat will then collate these and publish on the website and in social media as directed by you. 

ACTION: Partners to send ad-hoc project updates to Emily and Emily.

3.2 Update from the Net-Zero Task Force 

Doug Eltham provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.  

No further questions were asked.

3.3 Update on the Climate Impacts Group 

Doug Eltham provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.  

No further questions were asked. 

4. IPCC Report

Adam Williams provided a brief resume of the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report published this week. Key messages are: 

  • Every region on the planet is now experiencing the effects of climate change 
  • Human causes are indisputable 
  • Surface temperature warming has reached an average of 1.2 degrees Celsius 
  • Rapid emissions reductions are required now, and if this happens then 1.5 degrees is still in sight 
  • Net-Zero by 2050 still has a chance of limiting warming to 1.5 but only if the rapid emissions reductions occur very soon.  
  • More confidence that future warming will pass 1.5 in the 2030s if we continue emitting as we are now 

John Amosford said that we mustn’t lose sight of the co-benefits for health from the structural changes that are required. However, some of the technologies proposed means that we could be making public health inequalities worse. For example, the direct combustion of hydrogen as a heating fuel can continue to produce Nitrogen Oxides that would be detrimental to health.  

Doug Eltham said that the DCE communication channels will be used to raise awareness of the report and the projects that partners are working on to reduce emissions. These are all being collated on the Taking Action pages on the website.  

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5. Net-Zero Ambition

Doug presented feedback from the Response Group on the revised net-zero ambition that the Tactical Group has developed.  

The Group AGREED Doug’s proposals for incorporating this feedback into the ambition.  

Further feedback may be received from Response Group members before its next meeting on the 18th August.

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6. Regional Green Zones

South West Energy Hub are inviting local authorities to apply for funding to lead ‘Green Zone’ events during the COP26 fortnight, which falls between 31st October and 13th November, as part of the COP26 Domestic Campaign. They have sufficient funding for at least two regional events, which they hope will be accessible to a wide range of audiences. They have a budget of up to £30,000 per event, which the local authority is expected to match-fund. They hope to virtually live link the event to the main conference in Glasgow and other regional green zone events, and encourage collaboration between event organizers around the UK. 

The deadline for application is the 27th August. 

The Devon Climate Emergency secretariat proposes a collaboration to create a programme of in-person and virtual events across Devon. Local authorities in the DCE would invite community groups/business representatives/etc. to apply for up to £1,000 of funding each, which they would use to run an event showcasing an aspect of their work during that fortnight. Applicants for funding would be assessed according to selection criteria, for example the replicability and impact of the project/initiative being showcased. The Devon Climate Emergency (DCE) team would then produce a programme of events which the partners would help publicise. The local authorities in the DCE could match-fund through dedicating staff hours to planning/coordinating/promoting the events, and though offering council buildings free of hire charge where relevant.  

The Group AGREED this proposal. 

The Group further AGREED that a survey of communities should be undertaken quickly to determine their appetite to engage with the initiative if Devon were successful in receiving funding.  

ACTION: Secretariat to submit funding proposal to the Energy Hub.  

ACTION: Secretariat to prepare information for local authorities to use to survey communities for their appetite to engage with the initiative.  

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7. Race to Zero

Partners interested in joining the UN’s Race to Zero campaign can do so via Cities Race to Zero. Cities, or local governments with comparable powers, can join the campaign by completing and submitting the pledge form

Doug Eltham noted that this appears to be set up for urban areas but other than references to ‘urban’, the remainder of the pledge form is similar to the outcomes wanted by the Devon Climate Declaration.  

Appendix 1 – PROJECT PROGRESS REPORT

Period: June 2021 to July 2021

Status Indicator key:

Red = Serious issues 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.

Call to Action Campaign 

The Call to Action campaign is continuing. This campaign focuses on tangible things people can do to help reach net-zero. Partners have been involved in some of the Calls to Action where it is relevant to their activity.  

Devon Climate Challenge 

The opportunity for projects to register for the second phase of the crowdfunder has now closed. Ten projects will be selected to have the opportunity to receive a share of £30k. These projects will begin crowd funding on the 6th September.  

Youth Engagement 

Emily Reed continues to meet with education providers to evaluate options for youth engagement. 

1.2 Partners’ Notable Activity 

A £10m application to the Sustainable Warmth fund has been submitted on behalf of all of the districts and Torbay Council to BEIS to retrofit almost 600 homes in Devon.  

The Food and Farming Commission have begun the process of developing a Land Use Framework for Devon – one of the priority actions in the Devon Carbon Plan. This is being taken forward with strong collaboration with the Devon Local Nature Partnership.  

Exeter City Council, a partner of DCE, have opened the city’s new look £8 million bus station.  

Devon County Council (DCC), a partner of DCE, have opened the new ‘park and change’ site at Exeter Science Park.  

Work on the new railway station at Marsh Barton in Exeter is progressing quickly.  

2 Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1 Interim Carbon Plan – AMBER

The Consultation Report on the Interim Devon Carbon Plan is now online.  

Amendments are now being made to the Interim Devon Carbon Plan by the secretariat. This is behind schedule due to resources being focussed on arranging the citizens’ assembly.  

The Transport section’s redraft is approaching completion and will be distributed to Tactical Group members in the next few days.  

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly – GREEN

The Assembly Project Team continues to meet fortnightly to plan the detail of the Assembly.  

Block 3 completed over the weekend of 24th and 25th July. The resolutions designed by the Assembly members and the conditions attached to those resolutions will be incorporated into a draft report that will be available to partners at the end of August and then finalised by the end of September.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update – AMBER

The Assembly Project Team continues to meet fortnightly to plan the detail of the Assembly.  

Block 3 completed over the weekend of 24th and 25th July. The resolutions designed by the Assembly members and the conditions attached to those resolutions will be incorporated into a draft report that will be available to partners at the end of August and then finalised by the end of September.

4. Summary Comments

  • Partners continue to implement the Interim Devon Carbon Plan while partnership procedures are ongoing 
  • The revisions to the Interim Carbon Plan are underway.  
  • The Devon Climate Assembly has completed and will report in draft form by the end of August.  
  • Additional resource for the Climate Impacts Group is now in place and further applications are progressing.