Climate change action plan making progress

Climate change protest. Picture: Getty Images

Climate change protest. Picture: Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Progress has been made on a ten point green action plan to help tackle climate change in Devon, councillors have been told.

Last July, Devon County Council’s Environmental Performance Board were mandated to look into how the ten actions that were proposed by East Devon councillor Claire Wright could be addressed.

More than a year on, Cllr Wright, asked a full council meeting for an update on the progress on the actions resulting from the plan.

Cllr Roger Croad, cabinet member for environmental services, said that while the huge demands of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic had, inevitably, affected the way the council has been able to take forward its planned action, more positively though it has been recognised that environmental objectives must underpin the plans for COVID recovery.

He said: “Given the huge imperative to support the Devon Climate Emergency, the Environmental Performance Board has deliberately prioritised effort to progress our DCC carbon reduction plan, as well as assisting in the development of the Devon Carbon Plan and Climate Impacts Plan.

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“For this reason, formalising this broader approach to enhanced environmental action through a refreshed suite of action plans has not yet occurred, although opportunities for action are being pursued with vigour.”

Examples of recent progress that had been made, Cllr Croad said, included the recruitment to a new ecologist position to help provide the required capacity to take forward actions from the DCC Pollinators Action Plan, and that Local Nature Partnership work on October Dark Skies Week will raise awareness of the impacts of lighting on insects and promote actions that people can take.

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He added: “Work is progressing well, with significant input from the county council, on the Development Phase of ‘Saving Devon’s Treescapes’, with the first tree planting events starting in October. The council is working closely with other local authorities, the Woodland Trust, Local Nature Partnership and others to secure national funding to progress a ‘Trees for Devon’ initiative, which aims to increase tree cover in the county.”

Cllr Croad added that the draft Action Plan to reduce the council’s own water consumption had also been taken forward.

First trees planted in new Devon project, page 22

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