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Climate change takes centre stage in Devon

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A new role overseeing climate change has been created on Devon County Council’s Cabinet for the first time as leader John Hart re-shuffles his team.

Senior county councillor Andrea Davis will take charge of the authority’s growing role in combating climate change and becoming net-zero carbon by 2030.

She will retain her existing Cabinet responsibilities for environment, biodiversity and transport, including public transport.

Mr Hart said:

“Climate change affects everyone in Devon as it does across the country and across the world.

“It’s important that this crucial issue is reflected in all our discussions in Cabinet and I am delighted that Andrea has agreed to take on the job.

“The fact that we are establishing this role is a measure of how seriously we take the issue.

“We’ve cut our carbon footprint by almost half as a county council and we’re on target to become net-zero carbon by 2030.

“We have ambitious plans for a cleaner, Greener Devon with a thriving economy that will help us recover from the effects of the pandemic.

“But we’ve got to get the recovery going whilst keeping our promise to reduce carbon emissions.

“We will continue to invest in LED lighting on our streetlights. That both saves money and cuts our carbon emissions.

“There will be more charging points for electric cars, solar panels on the roofs of our buildings and we are looking for more land to plant trees to offset some of our carbon footprint.”

Andrea Davis, who represents Combe Martin Rural, said:

“This is the right time to put the issue centre stage in Devon.

“The county council was a leading mover in setting up the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group which is a partnership of Devon’s councils, business groups, emergency services and voluntary organisations and our Chief Executive chairs the organisation.

“We’ve been canvassing residents across the county to put themselves forward to join the Devon Climate Assembly this summer.

“This will give 70 people the chance to represent their communities in contributing to the county’s climate roadmap, which outlines what every resident, business and organisation will have to do to reduce carbon emissions.

“The Climate Assembly is the next stage of a transparent and democratic process to show us all how we can live and prosper in a carbon neutral society.

“This is the goal of Devon’s Carbon Plan – to set out a clear roadmap of what we all have to do to ensure that Devon becomes net-zero and continues to thrive.”