Tactical Group Meeting Minutes 14th July 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  
John Amosford Public Health Devon  
Harry Barton Devon Wildlife Trust 
Samantha Davies University of Plymouth 
Jacqui Warren Torbay Council 
Jason Ball Mid Devon District Council 
William Elliott Teignbridge District Council 
Andy Seaman University of Exeter 
Donna Sibley Torridge and North Devon District Councils 
Adam Williams South Hams and West Devon Councils 
Peter Crone Devon Energy Collective 
Jake Burnyeat Communities for Renewables

Apologies

Hannah Oliver  Devon Climate Emergency 
David Rose South West Water 
Neil Hamlyn Local Resilience Forum 
Sara Gibbs Public Health Devon 
John Golding East Devon District Council 
Louise Sawyer Devon and Cornwall Police 
Lynda Wookey Exeter City Futures 
Victoria Hatfield Exeter City Council 
Catherine Causley East Devon District Council 

1. Devon Energy Collective

Jake Burnyeat and Peter Crone presented to the Group about the current work and future plans of the Devon Energy Collective. The Collective is governed by the existing network of community energy organisations in Devon and has been created to enable the ambition for community energy in the county to grow to more substantial schemes that can have an even greater effect on reducing carbon emissions. 

The ambition is to create a 100MW pipeline of new, renewable energy generating capacity in Devon under community ownership selling power to public sector organisations. Profits would be invested locally on net-zero priorities.  

Various partners were keen to discuss the opportunities further with Jake and Peter who will arrange follow-up conversations.  

2. Project Progress Report

This month, due to the discussion had about the Devon Energy Collective, commentary and questions were focussed on the Update from the Net-Zero Task Force in relation to the citizens’ assembly.  

  1. Update from the Net-Zero Task Force 

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

In addition, partners were provided with a summary of feedback form the participants in the Climate Assembly about how they were finding the experience. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive – people feel the Assembly is well organised and facilitated. Thanks go to the Involve Foundation for this situation. Further feedback will be collected and acted upon as the Assembly progresses.  

3. Net-Zero Ambition

Doug presented the progress made by the sub-group of the Tactical Group that was set up to propose a revised net-zero ambition for the Interim Devon Carbon Plan in light of the public consultation feedback that people wanted to see commitment for significant emissions reductions over the next 10 years.  

The Group were asked to provide further feedback to Doug on the proposals by Friday 16th July. In the absence of any substantial feedback, the Group AGREED for the proposals to be recommended to the Response Group at its meeting on the 20th July for inclusion in the next iteration of the Carbon Plan. 

4. Pass the Planet Case Study

Doug reported that the Devon Climate Emergency initiative will be showcased by the Local Government Association as part of its Pass the Planet campaign which will be highlighting activity in each region before the COP26 in November.  

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. A volunteer student continues to help Hannah with the social media collateral.  

Devon Climate Challenge 

The first phase of the Devon Climate Challenge crowdfunder has completed. Three successful projects raised £10k, £5k and £4k from crowdfunding, which will each receive match funding of £5k, £3k and £2k respectively from Devon County Council.  

A second phase has now launched. Ten further projects have the opportunity to receive a share of £30k. People can register their project by the 29th July.  

County Show 

The Devon County Show went ahead on the 2/3/4 July and the Devon Climate Emergency was featured on the Devon County Council stand. Hannah and Emily developed material for the stand focussed on helping people understand which everyday activities emit the most carbon. Awareness was also raised about the citizens’ assembly.  

Thank you to officers from partner organisations who helped staff the stand over the three days. There was a continual flow of people and discussions were generally positive about the intention of the Devon Climate Emergency but also a clear acknowledgement that change will be very challenging.  

Youth Engagement 

Hannah and Emily continue to meet with education providers to evaluate options for youth engagement.  

1.2 Partners’ Activity

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. 

Devon County Council has launched a new Natural Capital Challenge Fund with £300k COVID recovery money. 

2 Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1 Interim Carbon Plan – AMBER

The Response Group signed off the Consultation Report on the Interim Devon Carbon Plan at its meeting in June. The secretariat hope to get this online by the end of July.  

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. A masters graduate is helping with initial redrafting to get this back on track. Individual chapters will be sent out to you as they become available.  

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly – GREEN

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

Block 2 completed over the weekend of 10th and 11th July. The assembly split into three streams. Each stream considered one of the three topics: 

  • In what conditions, if any, should onshore wind be allowed in Devon? 
  • What would be the best ways of encouraging, or requiring, people to retrofit their homes, properties or business premises to reduce carbon emissions? 
  • How can we encourage people to use their cars less, whilst maintaining mobility in Devon? 

A variety of witnesses and advocates presented information about the current situation, opportunities and issues, and were available to answer the participants’ questions.  

All of the presentations made to the assembly are being made available on the Devon Climate Emergency website at https://www.devonclimateemergency.org.uk/evidence/  

Feedback from Block 1 shows that the participants are finding the assembly a rewarding experience and feel the facilitation of the discussions is good.  

3. Climate Impacts Group Update – AMBER

Two interns on a part-time basis at the Environment Agency are leading on meetings with key organisations to understand the preparedness levels for the risks that have been identified. This is helping bring momentum to the project.  

In addition, the Secretariat and the Environment Agency has submitted a funding bid to the Flood Defence Grant in Aid fund to provide a 6-month resource to accelerate the preparation of the Adaptation Plan. Initial stage was successful and the next stage of submitting a business case will be submitted by the end of August. 

4. Summary Comments

The Interim Devon Carbon Plan Consultation Report is expected to be online by the end of July.  

The revisions to the Plan itself are behind schedule. A graduate is now helping with initial updating. Individual chapters will be sent to project partners as they become available.  

The Devon Climate Assembly is progressing well.  

Additional resource for the Climate Impacts Group is now in place and further applications are progressing.