NET ZERO TASK FORCE
Creating a resilient, net-zero carbon Devon - where people and nature thrive.
WHAT IS THE NET ZERO TASK FORCE?
As the wide reaching impact of climate change is increasingly accepted the goal of being carbon neutral (i.e. reaching ‘net zero’ Carbon emissions), has been set by authorities around the world. With the UK’s official target being 2050. Devon has set the target of being carbon neutral by 2050, at the latest. Whilst other authorities have been adopting earlier targets such as Cornwall; Somerset; Mid-Devon District Council; Plymouth and Exeter all setting their goal at 2030. The challenge to reach this goal is huge, and requires logistical changes, across all sectors of society, which can feel hard to imagine.
Devon Communities Together have committed to work in this area with one of our key social aims being "To ensure that Devon's communities are supported to develop strategies to protect and regenerate their natural environment". As such, we are proud to be a part of Devon County Council’s Net Zero Task Force, to help work towards this goal.
The Net Zero Task Force was established by the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG). The DCERG is made up of senior officers of 29 organisations including councils, emergency services, businesses and voluntary organisations and has been established to provide the strategic coordination of a collaborative response to the Devon Climate Emergency.
The Task Force has 12 core members, who are experts in carbon reduction and are drawn from economic, environmental, health and academic organisations. It is chaired by Professor Patrick Devine-Wright, a leading climate expert and IPCC author. Group members represent a variety of stakeholder groups and sectors relevant to decarbonisation. Devon Communities Together are drawing upon our 60 years of history to represent the rural communities of Devon and indicate ways of community engagement.
The Task Force is using it's members' expertise and knowledge to produce an evidence-led Devon Carbon Plan, including consideration of the earliest credible date that should be set for net-zero emissions. As well as using the knowledge within the Task Force, evidence was gathered between October 2019 and January 2020 from a Devon-wide call for public submissions, and also through a series of 5 hearings where expert witnesses were invited. A Project Manager, and team at Devon County Council, along with the Tactical Group provide practical support to the Task Force to develop the Devon Carbon Plan.
The plan was initially due for publication in 2020, but Covid-19 has delayed this due to the essential step of a Citizens Assembly not being able to take place. A citizens assembly is especially important to test the most controversial and challenging issues necessary to reach net zero emissions. An interim Devon Carbon Plan was published in December 2020 and is available to view from the link below.
A citizens assembly will be held in summer 2021 to discuss elements of the plan and a final plan published after this assembly.
The Climate Emergency website has done a fantastic job at gathering together a staggering amount of information and resources to help your community, business, parish council or yourself, as an individual, take action towards the climate emergency. Just click through to their website: https://www.devonclimateemergency.org.uk/ - look for the resources tab at the top of the page and start exploring.
Some of our favourites include:
- The Forestry Commission's "How trees benefit your farm business"
- Advice on starting a repair cafe in your community or finding your nearest repair cafe.
- Directing people to car share in the South West through the Pasty Connection app
- Sourcing reduced-price compost bins.
- Advice on switching energy to a green supplier