Residents urged to come up with ideas on how to reduce carbon emissions in Devon

A team of environmental experts, charged with ensuring Devon reduces carbon emissions as quickly as possible, is calling on residents to submit their ideas on how to do it.

The Net-Zero Task Force has been appointed by the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group – made up of the county’s councils, emergency services and business groups – to deliver the Devon Carbon Plan.

The carbon plan will lay out in stark terms what every resident, organisation and business has to do to reduce emissions and safeguard the planet for the next generation.

This ‘Call for Evidence’ is open to everybody, and every submission will be reviewed by the task force.

Submissions will feed into the creation of the carbon plan, which includes a series of thematic hearings in November and December.

Each hearing will focus on the different parts of society that produce most of the emissions, like transport.

Recent data compiled by the University of Exeter shows that homes and buildings, road transport and farming account for 83 per cent of all emissions in Devon.

The hearings will seek to understand what needs to happen to achieve rapid decarbonisation in Devon, and how it can be delivered.

They will be divided into the subjects of ‘food’, ‘land and sea’, ‘mobility and transport’, ‘the built environment’ and ‘energy and waste’.

A draft of the Devon Carbon Plan will be created through a three-step process.

Firstly, task force members and expert witnesses, all recognised in their respective fields, will discuss and then review the evidence.

They will then present a series of ‘options’ to a ‘Citizen’s Assembly’, which will be convened from January.

Finally, the deliberations of the Citizen’s Assembly will lead to the draft Devon Carbon Plan, which is due for publication next spring.

Chairman of the Net-Zero Taskforce, the University of Exeter’s Professor Patrick Devine-Wright, said:  “The challenge facing us all is how we can live and prosper in a carbon neutral economy.

“This is the goal of Devon’s Carbon Plan, to set out a clear roadmap of what we all have to do to ensure that Devon becomes net-zero and continue to thrive.

“We want everyone to be involved, including schools, members of the public, businesses and public sector organisations – we all have a say and part to play.”

Dr Phil Norrey, chairman of the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group, said: “The public submissions and the thematic hearings are the first stage in a process that will lead to a comprehensive carbon plan for Devon.

“Everyone in Devon has a stake in this process and I would like to thank the members of the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group and the Net-Zero Taskforce for their contributions and hard work.”

Public submissions can be made here.

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