West Devon Council invites residents’ views

Laura White
Laura White

Following its inception in May of last year, when a climate change and biodiversity emergency was declared, steps have now been agreed by the Council of Members of West Devon. It aims to be a carbon neutral
organisation by 2030.

The Council’s ‘Climate Change and Biodiversity Working Group’ has been working through ideas to produce a plan that will enable them to tackle the challenge in the most logical way. They acknowledge that this is a huge task and not one that the Council can find solutions for on its own, across the whole Borough.

The Council has been told that to reduce the impact of Global Warming and limit the effects of Climate Breakdown, we all need to reduce our CO2eq (carbon equivalent) emissions from 6.5 tonnes per person per year to less than 2 tonnes as soon as possible.

As an aid to this task, the Council have launched a borough-wide survey, asking residents for their thoughts on climate change, their current habits or behaviours and to identify what they think our barriers to change are.

To complete the survey go to: www.climatechange.westdevon.gov.uk
The survey closes on 16th January, 2020.

Cllr Neil Jory, Leader of West Devon Borough Council said: “It is important for us to stay focused and break this down into manageable pieces of work. We have decided to break our challenge into two parts, we have the Council’s internal carbon footprint, the C02 emissions that we are responsible for and then we have those of the District, some of which are within our control but most of which are not.

‘In the short time since we agreed to create a plan, we have brought together a set of ideas that will point us as an organisation in the right
direction.  Our aim is to be a carbon neutral organisation by 2030 and to have improved the habitats in our green and wooded open spaces by up to 10% by 2025. For those things that are outside of our direct control, we have joined forces with the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group to support the creation of a Devon-wide plan, with the aim of Devon becoming carbon neutral by 2050.  There is already a call for evidence, asking the public to make comments and add suggestions and we have supported the group with the themed discussions that have already taken place.”

West Devon Borough Council are telling us that they, ‘remain fully committed to working with communities and stakeholders, to share
knowledge, experience and ideas, and have made a commitment to working with partners’.

Carbon Footprint

West Devon Borough Council has a dedicated new website, where residents can go for more information about what the Council is doing: www.climatechange.westdevon.gov.uk

Devon Carbon Plan

A Net-Zero Task Force has been established, which will use its specialist knowledge and experience to produce an evidence-led Devon Carbon Plan: www.devonclimateemergency.org.uk/devon-carbon-plan
The Task Force has issued a call for evidence and has been conducting a series of hearings, to help gather views.

The views of the general public will play an important role in the production of the Devon Carbon Plan. Recommendations developed by the task force will be put to a
Citizens’ Assembly next year.

The Assembly will comprise a representative sample of Devon’s citizens from different social backgrounds, including young people. For more information go to: www.devonclimateemergency.org.uk

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