City councillors back plan to turn Exeter carbon neutral by 2030

Councillors have unanimously backed and ambitious blueprint for Exeter to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Civic leaders say the target is ‘challenging’ but are ‘confident’ the city can reach the green-minded goal in the next decade, writes Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Clark.

Members gave their full approval to the Net-Zero Exeter 2030 Plan at their July full council meeting.

Councillor Rachel Sutton said: “The plan sets out the challenges that we have, not least the financial challenges, but I am confident that we can actually do it, and we will start telling people what changes they can do to help us achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.

“We will put the climate emergency front and centre as we go forward and it will form part of the post-Covid recovery.

“This will be challenging but we will achieve our goals, I am confident.”

Exeter City Council leader Phil Bialyk added: “Nobody can doubt or challenge the passion or commitment to the project.

“I like the plan and like it even more as we have consulted with a number of groups over it.

“We have talked to people and have brought this together. This demonstrates the amount of work that will be needed but we are ready, willing and able for the task in front of us.”

The plan outlines the short-term (by 2022), medium-term (2023 – 2026), and long-term (2027 – 2030) actions that will need to be taken by city and county councils, organisations and individuals. 

They include a city-wide low carbon mobility scheme with and ‘core walking areas’ free from non-essential  vehicles.

Identifying sites for new housing and commercial developments that can be served by quality public transport links and attractive cycle and walking connections is also on the cards.

Exeter City Council’s chief executive and growth director will produce a further report on what the authority can do when its financial position is clearer.

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