Agenda item

Report of the Director of Climate Change, Environment and Transport (CET/22/52) seeking endorsement of the Devon Carbon Plan, attached.


Attached to the Report is a quick read version of the Plan. The full plan is available here -


An Impact Assessment is also attached for available Members of the Cabinet to consider and is available on the website at


RESOLVED that the Devon Carbon Plan be endorsed.


(Councillors Brazil, Hodgson and Whitton attended in accordance with Standing Order 25(2) and spoke to this item).


The Cabinet considered the Report of the Director of Climate Change, Environment and Transport (CET/22/52) which sought endorsement of the Devon Carbon Plan, 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 full plan was available at and had been prepared by a partnership of 29 public, private, community and not-for-profit organisations, led by the County Council (DCC).


The endorsement of the Devon Carbon Plan would confirm the Authority’s commitment to acting with County and Regional partners to address the climate and ecological emergencies. The Report highlighted that many of the actions had a degree of flexibility in their language, such as ‘where possible’, ‘explore’, ‘investigate’. This was not to downplay the critical nature of reducing carbon emissions, rather it set out key areas of focus that needed further evaluation for different types of organisation to contribute to the 2050 net-zero target.


The Council would also revise its own 2018 Climate Strategy and relevant Action Plans, which showed how the Authority would use its responsibilities and areas of influence to help reduce Devon’s emissions, so that it aligned with the Devon Carbon Plan. The approval of the revised strategy would come to a future meeting for approval.


Creating the Devon Carbon Plan involved five main phases of public engagement, which was outlined in full at section 5 of the Report and the Report’s recommendations contributed to delivering all of the six priorities of the Council’s Strategic Plan, outlined in full at section 6.


Endorsing the Plan did not commit the Authority to new financial expenditure, but it was clear that in many cases doing more would require additional funding and substantial investment, much of which would need to be provided by the private sector through commercial opportunities. However, what was clear was that long-term the cost to society of inaction exceeded the cost of action.


An Impact Assessment was also attached to the agenda for consideration at the meeting and was available on the website at


This highlighted that Climate change would affect everybody in the County, and would affect people less able to adapt the most, for example less affluent, those living with physical and mental health conditions, those living in coastal communities or other areas prone to flooding and young people who would live with the effects becoming worse over their lifetimes. Implementing the Devon Carbon Plan in partnership with the people of Devon would help minimise these impacts on everyone. In addition, future tactical-level changes to services would need their own impact assessment to consider their effect on equality characteristics.


In summary, since declaring a Climate Emergency, the global outlook remained poor with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) publishing its Sixth Assessment Report showing that the vast majority of future scenarios showed temperatures were on track to shoot well above 1.5 degrees (over the limit set by the 2015 Paris Agreement). However, it also highlighted that some of the risks associated with climate change could still be prevented or lessened with prompt action.


The Devon Carbon Plan was a landmark piece of work for the County to help realise and achieve its aims of becoming net-zero by 2050 at the latest.


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 Directors Report and/or referred to above having been considered:


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


RESOLVED that the Devon Carbon Plan be endorsed.


(NB: The Impact Assessment referred to above may be viewed alongside Minutes of this meeting and was available at

Supporting documents: