In 2019 a partnership of public, private and voluntary organisations in Devon came together to form Devon Climate Emergency and endorse the principles of the Devon Climate Declaration, which set out an ambition to tackle climate change across Devon. In order to put people at the heart of Devon's action on climate change, the Devon Climate Assembly was commissioned to help understand people in Devon's (including Plymouth and Torbay) views on the question:
"How should Devon meet the big challenges of climate change?"
The Assembly followed on from a public consultation which has informed the Interim Devon Carbon Plan that set out actions for tackling climate change, but also identified some big challenges which needed further consideration. Therefore the assembly focused on transport, energy and land use and will consider how to create a Devon where people and nature thrive, including benefits such as warmer, more efficient homes, healthier and more active lifestyles, changing workplaces and emerging industries and ways to enhance wildlife in our urban and rural areas.
How did the Devon Climate Assembly work?
The Devon Climate Assembly was made up of residents of Devon, including Plymouth and Torbay, chosen through a civic lottery process which ensured that the Assembly was broadly representative of the population of Devon in terms of gender, age (16+), ethnicity, social background, level of concern about climate change, disability and location. The assembly members met for 11 sessions of around two and a half hours between June and July 2021. All meetings were held online and led by a team of independent facilitators who ensure that everyone's voice is heard.
Assembly members heard evidence from a range of experts including academics, researchers, campaigners and other stakeholders. They then had the time to ask questions and discuss what they hear in small groups to explore their views before making recommendations on how Devon should meet the big challenges of climate change.
What impact will the Devon Climate Assembly have?
At the end of the Assembly the report was be written up which highlights the resolutions, conditions, supporting statements and overarching statements made by the Assembly and the reasons why they are being made. This report will be considered by the Net-Zero Task Force and the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group and relevant actions will be incorporated into the Final Devon Carbon Plan which will set out Devon's path to Net-Zero.
What is Involve's role?
Involve was commissioned through an open tender to run the Devon Climate Assembly. We designed and independently facilitated the Assembly as well as supported members to get online and fully participate in the process.