University helps to show how residents and businesses can achieve net-zero
Academics from the University of Plymouth are part of the consortium that led the development of a plan for Devon to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.
The Devon Carbon Plan is the result of three years of public consultations, workshops, seminars, a Citizens’ Assembly, and input from all sectors of the community and economy. 
Supported by the latest scientific evidence, it sets out the actions Devon needs to take to create a resilient, sustainable place where people and nature thrive. 
The plan highlights the long-term changes we can all make to help reduce our impact on the planet.
It also sets out detailed, evidence-based solutions and strategic objectives for national and local policy makers in areas such as energy production, transport, and the built environment. 
The plan has been delivered by Devon Climate Emergency, a partnership of 29 businesses, public bodies, and voluntary groups, including Devon’s 11 principal councils. 
Its expert group, the Devon Net Zero Task Force, was led by Professor Patrick Devine-Wright and included Professor of Environmental Politics Ian Bailey and Professor of Geoscience Communication Iain Stewart.
They have been involved in crafting and consulting on the actions Devon needs to take to achieve net-zero emissions by or before 2050, working in partnership with Devon County Council and experts from a range of business, local authority and community organisations.
They have co-authored chapters that cover a number of the themes encompassed in the Devon Carbon Plan, including: Energy; Food; Land and Sea; Transport; Built Environment; Economy and Resources; and Cross-cutting themes.
They also provided expert input into hearings held with Devon organisations, and to the Devon Climate Assembly, through which residents met to discuss how the county can meet the challenges of decarbonising energy, transport, buildings and land use and agriculture.

Professor Bailey said:
“The Devon Carbon Plan sets out an ambitious but realistic suite of actions through which Devon can achieve net-zero emissions by 2050. It brings together the views of businesses, local authorities, community organisations and residents from across the county.
"They will now drive forward these actions to protect the Devon environment and ensure our response to the climate emergency improves the well-being and prosperity of those for whom Devon is their home.  Everyone can do their part and the time to act is now.”

<p>Ian Bailey</p>

Professor of Environmental Politics Ian Bailey

The Chair of the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group, Meg Booth, said:
"This Carbon Plan is the culmination of the latest scientific evidence and citizen participation, without which this plan would not have been possible, and I want to thank everyone involved. This is a plan that speaks to us all. It is the responsibility of all of us to adopt what each of us can individually. There are things that we each must do to adapt our behaviour, to reduce our individual carbon footprint. There are also things that councils, businesses, and other organisations can do to help people reduce our county’s carbon footprint. And there are things that need to be done nationally, to reduce the country’s carbon output. This is the best, perhaps only, opportunity for Devon to become net-zero by 2050. I have no doubt that we will make the transition to a low-carbon economy, an economy which is just, fair and right for our county.”  
Professor Patrick Devine Wright, from the University of Exeter, chaired the Devon Net Zero Task Force. He said: 
“We must change quickly and extensively if we truly want to stop this planet from becoming inhospitable to biodiversity and humankind. Change will not be easy, but it’s achievable with the right guidance. That’s what this plan provides, and it sets out the many things that we must do to reduce our emissions. The years to 2030 are crucial. The more we delay, the harder it will be to successfully respond to this emergency. But with this plan, I am confident of our success.”
Organisations across the county are now being encouraged to sign the Devon Climate Declaration through the Devon Climate Emergency website to show the growing support for taking action.  

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