Devon Climate Declaration
On the 6 June 2019, the members of South Hams District Council voted to declare a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency, As part of this decision, the Council became a signatory to the Devon Climate Declaration.
The Devon Climate Declaration states:
1. This Declaration has been prepared by a consortium of public, private and voluntary organisations collaborating through a Devon Climate Emergency Response Group. It sets out an ambition to tackle climate change that covers all of Devon, including those people who live, work in and visit our county, and those businesses who are based or operate here.
2. We are aware of the significant implications of climate change for Devon’s communities; it is already affecting our environment, infrastructure, economy and health & wellbeing. If not addressed, the impact on future generations will be profound and the ability to meet the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals will be severely compromised.
3. We understand that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has advised that carbon emissions must reduce globally by at least 45% by 2030 from 2010 levels and reach net-zero by 2050 if we are to avoid the worst effects of climate change by keeping warming below 1.5 degrees.
4. We will lead in the global response to climate change through our collective action, innovation and influence.
5. Individually, we will review (within 6 months) our plans to reduce our organisation’s carbon emissions to meet or exceed these targets, including ensuring the people we do business with are doing the same. We will publicly report our carbon emissions annually in accessible formats.
6. In collaboration, we will engage Devon’s residents, businesses and visitors to develop and implement a plan to facilitate the reduction of Devon’s production and consumption emissions to meet IPCC recommendations at the latest. We will openly report progress on its delivery. We know this transformational change will be challenging and will include:
Deploying more renewable, decentralised and smart energy systems
Retrofitting energy-efficiency measures into our existing buildings
Constructing zero-carbon new buildings
Travelling less and using improved walking, cycling and public transport infrastructure more often, and using electric and hydrogen vehicles
Changing our consumption to use less, re-use more and choose low-carbon options
Challenging all economic sectors to review their practices and the values of those they do business with
Divesting from fossil fuels
Changing our dietary patterns and reducing food waste
Changing agricultural practices to reduce emissions associated with farming operations, manage soils sustainably and replenish soil carbon
Encouraging carbon storage such as through tree planting, the use of wood in construction and peatland restoration
Empowering the people of Devon with the knowledge and skills to act collectively.
7. Additionally, we will work to understand the near-term and future risks of climate change for Devon to plan for how our infrastructure, public services and communities will have to adapt for a 1.5-degree warmer world.
8. Local organisations and communities cannot do this alone as national government plays a key role in many of the policy areas that are vital to reducing emissions and adapting to climate change. We call on government to prioritise decarbonisation and adaptation within decision making and work with us by using its powers to provide the resources and funding necessary to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon and resilient economy and society.
9. We challenge every organisation, business, community and individual to do the same.
For a full list of the signatories, please see the Devon Climate Declaration.