Green Issues: The Carbon Plan

Laura White
Laura White

Devon County Council (DCC) are moving forward with their plans to make Devon carbon neutral.

Teams have been set up and meetings are going ahead. As with any new ‘organisation’, these things take time and there is a lot of planning that has to be done, discussions had and targets agreed before anyone can actually move on anything. But this is good.

A successful outcome will come from decent planning. And the great thing is that DCC actually want to involve the public.

At a time when the government are deciding our futures for us, using that now-weary line that ‘the public have spoken and we have listened’, when it seems they just heard what they wanted to, at least DCC are open in realising that they don’t have all the answers.

The Net-Zero Task Force has been appointed by the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG) – made up of Devon’s councils, emergency services and business groups – to deliver the Devon Carbon Plan, and they are asking the public for input into how to reduce carbon emissions as quickly as possible.

Their website says; ‘The Carbon Plan will lay out in stark terms what every resident, organisation and business has to do to reduce emissions and help safeguard the planet for the next generation.

‘This Call for Evidence is open to everybody, and submissions can be made through the Devon Climate Emergency website, 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 our society that produce most of the emissions, like transport for instance. The hearings will seek to understand what needs to happen and what we all need to do to achieve rapid decarbonisation in Devon, and how it can be delivered.

‘Then the Task Force will present a series of ‘options’ to a Citizen’s Assembly – and the deliberations of the Citizen’s Assembly will lead to the Draft Devon Carbon Plan, which is due for publication next spring.’

At their recent meeting, DCERG highlighted the fact that although the aim is to bring Devon to net-zero, another primary aim that must run alongside any action taken is the ‘broader ecological crisis (or biodiversity crisis) that forms an inter-linked global threat.  In effect, this would recognise the twin-tracks of climate emergency and ecological crisis’.

At last, it’s being looked at, understood and action is beginning. The group have targeted research being carried out and all agencies involved are working towards a common goal – that of doing whatever can be done to reduce the impacts we’re feeling even now, let alone by the time we get to 2025.

Devon County Council, I’m excited and inspired by your actions. Keep up the good work.

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