Tactical Group Meeting Minutes 14th June 2021

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

Attendees

Doug Eltham Devon County Council
Emily Reed Devon Climate Emergency
John Golding East Devon District Council
Adam Williams South Hams and West Devon Councils
John Amosford Public Health Devon
Harry Barton Devon Wildlife Trust
Jacqui Warren Torbay Council
Jason Ball Mid Devon District Council
William Elliott Teignbridge District Council
Louise Sawyer Devon and Cornwall Police
Andy Seaman University of Exeter
Lynda Wookey Exeter City Futures
Victoria Hatfield Exeter City Council
Donna Sibley Torridge and North Devon District Councils
Catherine Causley East Devon District Council

Apologies

Hannah Oliver Devon Climate Emergency
David Rose South West Water
Neil Hamlyn Local Resilience Forum
Sara Gibbs Public Health Devon
Samantha Davies University of Plymouth

1. Welcome to New Staff

The Group welcomed Donna Sibley and Catherine Causley who are new into their roles in the past month to help address the climate emergency.

2. Minutes of the Previous Meeting

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

3. Project Progress Report

3.1 Project Management Update

Emily Reed gave an update on the communications activity reflecting Section 1 of the Progress Report appended to these minutes.

Jacqui Warren enquired whether projects that were not successful in the Devon Climate Crowdfunder project could be shared with the relevant local authority to see if they could be taken forward in a different way.

ACTION: Emily to check with the Crowdfunder project team.

3.2 Update from the Net-Zero Task Force

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

Members wanting more information on the Ruby Country Farming Forum can take a look at the website at https://sites.exeter.ac.uk/rubycountrynetzero/

3.3 Update on the Climate Impacts Group

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

John Amosford noted the Environment Agency is recruiting a Sustainable Places Planning Specialist into its Sustainable Places Devon, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Team and so it would seem sensible to make contact once they are in post.

4. Timetable for the Interim and Final Devon Carbon Plans

Following the report at the last meeting 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, Doug Eltham presented some further options to speed up the process.

The Group AGREED to recommend to the Response Group a 5 month reduction in the timetable by changing the way of working with the Net-Zero Task Force. This will bring the completion date forward from January 2023 to August 2022.

Instead of sequential stages of Task Force drafting > partners reviewing > Task Force redrafting, the necessary conversations will be done iteratively in a process of co-design. This iterative process was not appropriate for the production of the Interim Plan when the impartiality of the Task Force needed to be protected to ensure the issues and barriers identified from the call for evidence process were translated into unbiased actions. The preparation of the Final Carbon Plan is different because the recommendations about what should happen will have already been developed by the Devon Climate Assembly and it will be necessary for the partners, many of whom will be responsible for implementing many of the Assembly’s recommendations, to be part of considering the next steps.

ACTION: The secretariat will make this recommendation to the Response Group in June.

5. Net-Zero Date

Doug introduced a paper outlining the progress made at the April meeting of the Tactical Group about strengthening the net-zero date in response to the public consultation of the Interim Devon Carbon Plan.

The Group’s discussion focussed on the ambition that should be expected of organisations in Devon, particularly about how they plan to address supply chain emissions.

A conclusion was not reached at this meeting. Doug will schedule a special meeting in the next fortnight to bring this discussion closer to a conclusion.

ACTION: Doug to schedule a special meeting.

Appendix 1 – PROJECT PROGRESS REPORT

Period: May 2021 to June 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.

G7 and COP 26
The Call to Action campaign started on the 10th June and will run through to the end of July to coincide with the G7 and the Citizens’ Assembly. This campaign focuses on tangible things people can do to help reach net-zero. Some of the Calls to Action are being planned with partners where it is relevant to their activity. A volunteer student is helping Hannah with the social media collateral.

The Devon Climate Challenge crowdfunder launched and has now closed. The three successful projects will be announced later this month and will take part in a 24 hour fund raising event in July.

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 have developed material for the stand focussed on helping people understand which everyday activities emit the most carbon.

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.
Options continue to be evaluated.

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.

2 Net-Zero Task Force Update

2.1 Interim Carbon Plan – AMBER

The drafted consultation report summarising the 1321 submissions on the draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan will be brought to the Response Group for sign-off in June incorporating amendments from partners. This will then be published online soon after.

Amendments are now being made to the Interim Devon Carbon Plan by the secretariat. A subsequent draft was expected to be available for partners’ comment during June however, as previously anticipated, the resources required to arrange the citizens’ assembly have meant this is not yet ready. Individual chapters will be sent out to you as they become available.

2.2 Citizens’ Assembly – GREEN

The Assembly Project Team has been meeting fortnightly to plan the detail of the Assembly.

The seventy participants for the Assembly have been selected and are now receiving training on Zoom and further details about the process.

Three topics, combining four of the six issues presented in the draft Interim Devon Carbon Plan have been selected for detailed deliberation. The specific questions are still being refined, but generally the three are:

  • 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 make car travel less attractive?

The detailed design of each session is now being planned along with the witnesses who will be approached to present information and answer the participants’ questions.

The two remaining issues that will not be deliberated at the assembly will be developed through other means. The first one is an issue about how landscape should respond to the climate challenge – this will be addressed through the planned updates to the Devon Landscape Character Assessments. The second one is the implication of the need to at least 20% less red meat and dairy on Devon’s rural economy and environment – this is being deliberated by the Ruby Country Farming Futures Forum that is developing a road map for beef farming to reach net-zero. The outcomes of this could be replicated elsewhere in Devon in due course, depending on its findings.

3. Climate Impacts Group Update – AMBER

It was reported at the April meeting 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.

In the last month the Group now has two interns on a part-time basis at the Environment Agency having follow-up meetings with key organisations to understand the preparedness levels for the risks that have been identified. In addition, the Secretariat and the Environment Agency is preparing 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.

4. Summary Comments

The Interim Devon Carbon Plan Consultation Report will be presented for approval to the Response Group in June.

The revisions to the Plan itself are behind schedule. Individual chapters will be sent to project partners as they become available.

The Devon Climate Assembly planning is on schedule.

Additional resource for the Climate Impacts Group is now in place and further resource is being applied for.