Exeter to host major Carbon Neutral Festival in 2020

Exeter will stage a major festival next year in a bid to create a roadmap to making the city carbon neutral in the next decade.

The event – aimed at championing climate action across the community- is likely to start between January and March 2020.

Exeter City Futures is working alongside the city council to develop a programme of activities.

Both say achieving the ambitious target by 2030 will require the involvement of individuals, communities, businesses and organisations all working together.

Exeter City Council has asked Exeter City Futures to coordinate a city-wide plan.

It says the Carbon Neutral Festival will involve ‘a range of activities that will enable everyone in the city to jointly explore challenges and build understanding about the key changes that will need to be made’.

“Activities and the outputs from the festival will underpin a shared roadmap that addresses all needs and drives collective climate action,” says the council.

The full design of the festival is still being confirmed and announcements about the final programme will follow shortly.

City council deputy leader Cllr Rachel Sutton, lead for climate and culture, said: “We know this is a huge task and that we will need the help of everyone in the city to bring about the changes needed to achieve it.

“We are excited to be working in partnership with Exeter City Futures to deliver this Carbon Neutral Festival – bringing the city together to help shape a roadmap, outlining a clear path ahead for a carbon-neutral future.”

The council declared a climate emergency in July and committed to making Exeter a carbon neutral city by 2030.

It is already on track to become an energy-neutral authority by 2022.

Liz O’Driscoll, managing director of Exeter City Futures, said: “A plan of this magnitude cannot be developed without the input of the people who live and work in the City on a daily basis, so it is vital that everyone plays a part in this journey.

“We’re excited to organise this event and hope to see everyone getting involved to help shape a collaborative roadmap for Exeter’s carbon neutral future.”

Following a tender process, two organisations have been selected to work alongside Exeter City Futures to design and deliver the Carbon Neutral Festival.

These are Smith & Jones – a strategic brand development and communications route planning agency based in Devon, and Encounters – a Totnes-based company of artists, producers, facilitators and change agents.

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