Agenda item

Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/22/15) outlining the proposed consultation submission to the Devon Climate Emergency partnership's responses to the recommendations of the Devon Climate Assembly, attached.

 

An Impact Assessment is also attached for the attention of Members at the meeting and can be viewed online at - Proposed Responses to the Devon Climate Assembly - Impact Assessment.

Decision:

RESOLVED that the consultation submission from Devon County Council to the Devon Climate Emergency partnership’s consultation on its responses to the recommendations of the Devon Climate Assembly (section 3 of the Report) be approved.

Minutes:

(Councillors Connett, Dewhirst, Gent, Hannaford and Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).

 

The Cabinet considered the Report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment (PTE/22/15) which outlined the proposed consultation submission to the Devon Climate Emergency partnership's responses to the recommendations of the Devon Climate Assembly, circulated prior to the meeting in accordance with regulation 7(4) of the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Meetings and Access to Information) (England) Regulations 2012.

 

The Consultation had been live between the 17th March and 14th April 2022.

 

The Devon Climate Assembly was held last summer?after a year’s delay due to COVID-19. Seventy?randomly-selected?individuals, representative of Devon’s population, had been invited to discuss?three of Devon’s key climate issues: onshore wind, how to encourage less car use, and how to accelerate the upgrading of buildings.

 

The Authorities response was outlined at section 3, but also highlighted the exemplar of citizen engagement.

 

In relation to wind farms, the Council believes where sited appropriately to minimise effects on communities and the environment, could be part of providing Devon’s energy needs and that the benefits of new energy infrastructure should be retained locally where possible. It also supported the view that Devon needed better active and public transport infrastructure.

 

The Council was already delivering projects as part of its emergency response that helped deliver many of the recommendations of the Assembly, for example the £200k Community Energy Fund, transport improvements and  Local Cycling and Walking Improvement Plans, electric-vehicle charging infrastructure, development of strategic multi-use trails, submission to government of the Bus Service Improvement Plan, the £6m Sustainable Warmth project and the Devon energy advice service in partnership with community energy organisations.

 

The Council continued to be committed to playing its part in achieving net-zero in Devon by 2050 at the latest and looked forward to receiving the next iteration of the Devon Carbon Plan for consideration later in the year.

 

An Impact Assessment is also attached for the attention of Members at the meeting and can be viewed online at - Proposed Responses to the Devon Climate Assembly - Impact Assessment. This highlighted that Climate change would affect everybody in the County, and those people less able to adapt the most, for example less affluent people, those with physical and mental health conditions and coastal communities. Implementing the recommendation would help grow efforts to reduce international carbon emissions and minimise the impacts on everyone and implementing the Interim Devon Carbon Plan and the proposed responses would require fundamental changes to the way the Authority’s services were provided, which had the potential to impact negatively and positively on service users depending on the specifics of the proposals. Future tactical-level changes to services would need their own impact assessment, however the Plan had been designed with an overarching principle (Principle 9) that:

 

A just transition is required to ensure that:

 

a)    Vulnerable and low-income segments of society and rural communities are not disadvantaged.

b)    The differing impacts of climate change on different groups e.g. disabled, minorities, gender, are addressed.

c)    Actions to decarbonise Devon must not be at the expense of other communities or ecology globally

 

The Authority endorsed the proposed responses developed by the partnership and would do what it could to implement relevant actions within its areas of responsibility.

 

The matter having been debated and the options and/or alternatives and other relevant factors (e.g. financial, sustainability (including carbon impact), risk management, equality and legal considerations and Public Health impact) set out in the Head of Service’s Report and/or referred to above having been considered:

 

it was MOVED by Councillor Davis, SECONDED by Councillor Hart, and

 

RESOLVED that the consultation submission from Devon County Council to the Devon Climate Emergency partnership’s consultation on its responses to the recommendations of the Devon Climate Assembly (section 3 of the Report) be approved.

 

(NB: The Impact Assessment referred to above may be viewed alongside Minutes of this meeting and may also be available on the Impact Assessment Webpages).

Supporting documents: