Organisations from across Devon came together on May 22 2019 to form the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group to declare a climate and ecological emergency and to endorse the principles of the Devon Climate Declaration. The organisations include councils, statutory bodies, emergency services, businesses, environmental organisations, and academic institutions, all working together to address the climate crisis.

This recognises an awareness of the significant implications of climate change for Devon’s communities and businesses and commits the signatories to work together on developing a Devon Carbon Plan which will outline how Devon can reduce carbon emissions to net-zero by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) guideline of 2050 at the latest.

The Emergency Response Group has appointed the Net Zero Task, which comprises twelve specialists from a range of backgrounds to create the Devon Carbon Plan. The task force members have expertise in topics relevant to carbon reduction and are drawn from economic, environmental, health and academic organisations, and is chaired by a leading climate expert. Expertise regarding the built environment is being represented by Tim Jones, our chairman here at South West Business Council. As a chartered surveyor, Tim will be helping to come up with credible plans to the biggest issue affecting our planet.

The climate is already changing, and we all need to start preparing to live in a warmer world. The Devon Climate Emergency Response Group has created The Climate Impacts Group which is reviewing current levels of community preparedness to a warmer world and is creating a Devon Adaptation Plan highlighting the actions required to ensure community and environmental resilience.  Many of our SWBC members including University of Exeter, Devon & Cornwall Police, The Met Office & South West Water, are a part of this working group, helping to ensure Devon can continue to thrive in a warmer world.

Individuals and communities are becoming more concerned about the climate crisis and how this will impact our natural environment, communities, businesses and infrastructure here in the South West. More councils and organisations are declaring climate emergencies and proactively working to reduce their carbon emissions. This is significant for many local businesses who offer services to the public sector or local councils. Businesses will need to be aware of their carbon emissions and proactively taking steps to reduce these emissions to maintain the contracts with organisations who have declared climate emergencies. Beyond maintaining contracts, businesses should be addressing their carbon emissions to help combat the climate crisis.

We all need to reduce our emissions and contribute towards a net-zero Devon. Businesses who are committed to reducing their emissions can sign the declaration here: https://www.devonclimateemergency.org.uk/devon-climate-declaration/.

Check out the website to find out more https://www.devonclimateemergency.org.uk/.