Tactical Group Meeting Minutes 13th January 2021

Devon Climate Emergency Tactical Group minutes of meeting 13th January 2021.
You can download a PDF of the minutes here.

Attendees

Doug Eltham, Devon County Council
Emily Reed, Devon Climate Emergency
Hannah Oliver, Devon Climate Emergency
Adam Williams, South Hams and West Devon District Council
Andrew Gunther, Torbay Council
John Golding, East Devon District Council
David Rose, South West Water
Sarah Higgins, North Devon District Council
Harry Barton, Devon Wildlife Trust
Samantha Davis, University of Plymouth

William Elliott, Teignbridge District Council
Andy Seaman, University of Exeter

Lynda Wookey, University of Exeter and Exeter City Futures

Jacqui Warren, Torbay Council

Apologies

Janet Williams, Torridge District Council
Andrew Busby, Mid Devon District Council

David Rose, South West Water
Sarah Higgins, North Devon District Council

1. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

2. Project Progress Report

2.1  Project Management and Communications Update

Doug Eltham provided an update reflecting Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

Doug advised the Group that we need to keep promoting the projects we are all working on that reduce our organisations’ corporate emissions and projects that are reducing carbon emissions in the community and contribute to adapting to climate change. This will help demonstrate that we are implementing our commitments under the Devon Climate Declaration whilst the Carbon Plan is being prepared. We have started collating projects on the Devon Climate Emergency website but we need to keep this up to date.

ACTION: All to send links to existing web pages, press releases or short text statements, ideally with an image, about key projects to Hannah Oliver.

2.2  Update from the Net-Zero Task Force

Emily Reed and Hannah Oliver provided an update reflecting Section 2 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

Harry Barton encouraged the communications for the remainder of the consultation to focus on making the consultation easier to respond to and endorsed the idea of the ‘Eight Point Plan’ to provide a very short summary of the Carbon Plan’s intentions.

2.3  Update on the Climate Impacts Group

Emily Reed provided an update reflecting Section 3 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

3. Future Project Timetable

Emily Reed described that the period running up to the launch of the consultation had not allowed the ideal amount of time to meet the consultation deadline without significant pressure being placed on the secretariat team, the Task Force and the web contractor. All parties pulled together and the deadline was met, however we need to take the learning from this and amend the future project timetable. Once the consultation has closed and it is known how many consultation responses need to be processed, the secretariat will propose a revised timetable for preparing the final version of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan.

John Amosford added that we may need to build in time for an additional consultation with the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group partners if the consultation leads to substantial changes to the Interim Plan.

The Group AGREED this approach.

4. Funding Opportunities

None identified this month.

5. Committee on Climate Change’s Recommended 6th Carbon Budget

The Group discussed the Committee on Climate Change’s Recommended 6th Carbon Budget for the UK.

Just as the Interim Devon Carbon Plan consultation was launching, Government announced on the 4th December that it will introduce a 2030 target for the UK to reduce emissions by 68% from 1990 levels. This is equivalent to 54% from 2010 levels and exceeds the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recommendation of 45%.

A few days later, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published recommendations for the 6th carbon budget (2033 – 2037). Their recommendations match the ambition of the trajectory announced by Government.

The Government’s new target aligns well with the proposed scenario in the Interim Devon Carbon Plan, which would achieve a 50% reduction by 2030 – only 4% less.

In their new ‘Balanced Pathway’ scenario they recommend that the most rapid emissions reductions should occur between 2025 and 2035. Whilst this earlier action will cost £50b annually by 2030 (UK wide), their new modelling indicates that this extra investment can be delivered largely by the private sector as savings in fuel costs will offset investment costs. This reduces the net-cost (costs for which the savings do not offset the investment costs) of achieving net-zero by 2050 to less than 1% of Gross Domestic Product (revised down from their previous estimate of 1.5%).

The Group AGREED that whilst comparisons using Gross Domestic Product remains a useful measure for engaging and communicating with economic decision makers, using it in isolation doesn’t fit with more enlightened concepts, such as Doughnut Economics, that must be promoted in order to create a resilient, net-zero carbon Devon where people and nature thrive.

6. Local Updates from Members

Andrew Gunther introduced Torbay Council’s new Climate Change Officer, Jacqui Warren. Jacqui advised that the initial priorities are to develop a ten-point plan for Torbay, review the council’s corporate emissions, and subsequently align a longer-term strategy with the Devon Carbon Plan.

William Elliot reported that Teignbridge District Council has submitted a £3m bid to the Public Sector (buildings) Decarbonisation Fund. William noted that it looks like the fund will be extended.

Doug reported that Devon County Council has submitted a £2m bid to the Getting Building Fund and a £4m bid to the Public Sector (buildings) Decarbonisation Fund.

Harry Barton advised that the Devon Wildlife Trust is expecting to change its whole fleet to electric vehicles this year, install an Air Source Heat Pump at Cricklepitt Mill, develop plans to improve the environmental performance of the Jurassic Coast Visitor Centre further, and are developing a project to trial different approaches to enhancing soil carbon.  

Andy Seaman told the Group that the University of Exeter is looking at resourcing an initiative to explore supply chain emissions, and is developing large solar PV projects.

Samantha Davies reported that the University of Plymouth has had its Carbon Management Strategy approved by its Board. Both Samantha and Andy noted that the deadlines for the Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund has been too tight for them to submit a project.

8. Next Meeting

Appendix 1 – PROJECT PROGRESS REPORT

Period: December to January 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.

Project Management Update

Project Communications – Green

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

Covid Reset – Green

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

Devon Solar Together – over 913 households are now receiving roof surveys over the next few months. The full report on the Economy and Business Recovery to accompany the Team Devon COVID Prospectus remains delayed due to resources being focussed on government funding opportunities.

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

Net-Zero Task Force Update

Citizens’ Assembly – Green

Following the positive advice on the effectiveness of online deliberations from the University of Exeter, the procurement process for the recruitment and facilitation provider of the Assembly went live on Friday 8th January.

Interim Devon Carbon Plan – Amber

The consultation for the Interim Carbon Plan went live on the 7th December and will remain open through to the 15th February. The secretariat has begun collating the responses to the public consultation to date and continues to make the final arrangements for upcoming webinars. The public engagement strategy is being monitored and adjusted in response to evidence of who and how people are being reached. An ‘Eight Point Plan’ reflecting the Plan’s objectives is being developed to engage social media audiences.

This week YouTube and other social media advertising efforts are to be increased.

The webinar series has been well received. The final webinar on Economy and Resources will take place in February.

About 270 responses via the questionnaire have been received so far. In the week starting 10th January, the consultation questionnaire was refined to make it clearer that a short and a longer version are available as we had received reports that the length of the questionnaire was off-putting.

Hard copies are no longer available from libraries for offline audiences as the libraries are now closed due to the third lockdown. Messages have been sent to parish councils to amend posters, and messages have been posted on social media and in the January newsletter to alert the public to this. Hard copies are still available from 0345 155 1015.

Climate Impacts Group Update

Narratives of the Effects of Climate Change – Green

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. A workshop to assign prioritisation to these scores has been scheduled for 27th January 2021.

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.

Summary Comments

The Interim Devon Carbon Plan public consultation is now live until the 15th February.

The Climate Impacts Group is making progress with the narratives and risk assessments.

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