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For the next four years we will

  • Support a green recovery from COVID-19 which means we will support a low carbon economy and rebuild in a way that is sustainable for the future and reduces climate risks
  • Ensure resources are used more efficiently by waste reduction, re-use and recycling
  • Prioritise sustainable travel and transport with more opportunities for cycling and walking
  • Help people adapt to climate change by providing helpful resources and guidance
  • Help wildlife and landscapes to recover
  • Take opportunities to improve the energy efficiency of homes and buildings to reduce their carbon footprint and reduce costs
  • Encourage sustainable lifestyles by engagement, awareness-raising and supporting low carbon initiatives
  • Support the transition to low emission vehicles whilst realising that this shift may not be achievable for large parts of rural Devon
  • Continue to reduce carbon emissions across all our services including the use of innovative low carbon materials in our highways, low-energy street lighting and supporting remote working and other practical measures to address climate change

As well as addressing climate change, these initiatives will boost economic activity, create jobs, improve public health and reduce inequalities. 

Are you in?

We want to hear your thoughts on how we can work together to make Devon the best place to grow up, live well and prosper

Climate change in Devon

Climate change poses a serious threat to our quality of life, now and for future generations. It is damaging biodiversity, disrupting food production, damaging infrastructure, threatening jobs and harming human health.

Disadvantaged and less affluent groups are likely to be affected most, and the effects of climate change may make disadvantage worse.

Devon’s outstanding environment is our county’s greatest asset, but a growing population creates challenges around carbon emissions, air quality and resource consumption.

As a community leader, the County Council has an important role to help tackle the climate emergency and enable communities to adapt to climate change.

Why is this a priority?

Our planet’s climate is changing and warming is accelerating. Globally, 2010-2019 was the warmest decade since records began in 1850 and each decade since 1980 has been warmer than the preceding one.

This warming is causing more extreme storms, droughts, heat waves, melting ice, Ocean Acidification and rising sea levels. The impacts of these changes are widespread and immense in scale, including flooding to food insecurity, health implications, international migration and unparalleled loss of biodiversity.

In comparison to 1961, South West England also now experiences almost 10% more rainfall each year. Winters have got wetter and summers have got drier; the South West receives 28% more precipitation in autumn, almost 16% more in winter and approaching 9% less in summer.

How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected climate change?

  • COVID-19 brought about a small temporary drop in carbon emissions as people travelled less but it clearly demonstrated how disadvantaged and vulnerable communities are disproportionately affected by complex crises, such as climate change.
  • During the pandemic, people made more use of Devon’s environment for recreation, health, and happiness – but this in turn brings its own challenges in maintaining the quality of the environment.


Andrea Davis

Councillor Andrea Davis

Cabinet Member for Climate Change, Environment and Transport

“Climate change affects everyone in Devon as it does across the country and across the world. The County Council is on target to become net-zero carbon by 2030. Devon’s Carbon Plan will set out a clear roadmap of what we all have to do to ensure that Devon becomes net-zero by 2050 at the latest and continues to thrive.

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

Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Cabinet Member for Highway Management

“The Council is responsible for 8,000 miles of roads, the longest highway network in the country, together with 3,100 miles of public rights of way, 150 miles of National Cycle Network and 3,500 bridges.

“We are doing all we can to keep the main roads in a good and safe condition. The highway network is vital for the economy of Devon, our engineers are making sure that any new construction and ongoing maintenance supports the Council’s drive for achieving net zero by 2030”