Devon Climate Assembly - Report Published
A report from the Devon Climate Assembly has been published (12th October 2021). The report details the selection process; the assembly structure; the resolutions and conditions, and even includes personal messages from assembly members. The Devon Climate Emergency partnership, which includes all Devon’s Local Authorities, will respond to each of the Assembly’s recommendations to complete the Devon Carbon Plan.
Who was on the assembly?
The assembly of 70 individuals from across Devon came together during summer 2021 to vote on what they wanted to see included in a low-carbon future for Devon. Fourteen thousand randomly-selected Devon households were invited to enter a ‘civic lottery’ to determine who represents the county at this summer’s Devon Climate Assembly. From those responses, 70 members were hand-picked against a criterion to reflect Devon’s demographic profile.
What did the Devon Climate Assembly consider?
Assembly members voted on a total of fourteen resolutions, split between three contentious climate topics: retrofitting, onshore wind and transport.
What were the main results?
An executive summary and the full report are available free on the Devon Climate Emergency website.
Eleven resolutions received majority support from members. Many of the resolutions were attended by conditions. These conditions were written by members to indicate the actions that would increase their advocacy for a particular resolution.
For example, whilst members supported "taking measures to reduce the road space available to cars and reallocate it to active and public travel modes in Devon" (the resolution), they added that their support for this would increase if "priority is given to making sure you can still travel cheaply in Devon, in a similar time to now, via active travel/public transport" (the condition).
Qualifying the resolutions in this way helpfully highlights what work needs to be done to support a transition to a low-carbon society.
Now, let's turn to the resolutions that received the most support across all three sectors.
The resolution about home energy efficiency (retrofitting) that received the most support was:
"We believe that the existing financial supports available across Devon are not effective for encouraging people to undertake the degree of retrofitting work on their properties that will be required to meet net zero targets"
- Supported by 94% of members.
The resolution about onshore wind that received the most support was:
"In principle, we support the development of more onshore wind turbines in Devon"
- Supported by 89% of members
This resolution was further supported by the second resolution:
"In principle, we support reforming the National Planning Framework to remove the requirement for 'complete' community support from development planning applications for onshore wind turbines".
- Supported by 87% of members
Roads and Mobility
The resolution about roads and mobility (transport) that received the most support was:
"We recognise that there will always be a need for private car use in Devon, particularly in rural areas of the county, and support the initiatives included in the Interim Devon Carbon Plan to help minimise the emissions these cause by investing in the infrastructure to support the increased use of electric vehicles"
- Supported by 92% of members
Why does this matter?
The next step will be to transform all of the assembly's recommendations into deliverable actions and incorporate them into the next iteration of the Devon Carbon Plan. Once this is complete, Devon Climate Emergency will consult the public on the Carbon Plan in Spring 2022.
Source: The Devon Climate Emergency Team.