To consider the report of the Chief Executive and Growth Director.
RECOMMENDED that Council approve:-
(1) The adoption of the Net-Zero Exeter 2030 Plan as Council policy to inform all policy documents, plans and corporate decision making in response to the Climate Emergency and in pursuance of the goal to make Exeter a carbon neutral city by 2030;
(2) the Liveable Exeter Place Board as the appropriate body to adopt the Liveable Exeter Place plan on behalf of the city of Exeter;
(3) authorising the Chief Executive & Growth Director, in consultation with the Leader of the Council, to explore opportunities to secure investment and to create mechanisms for funding the programmes set out in the plan; and
(4) the Chief Executive & Growth Director to report to Executive on how the City Council will deliver the actions set out in the section “what Exeter City Council can do”, once the financial position of the City Council has been clarified with Government financial support as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis.
Reason for Decision:
As set out in the report.
The Chief Executive & Growth Director presented the report which set out how the city of Exeter could achieve its ambition to be net-zero carbon by 2030. The Plan set out ways in which people could support in achieving the net zero ambition, and provide engagement across the city to support organisations, individuals and institutions in taking responsibility and contribute to achieving this goal.
The Chief Executive & Growth Director made the following points:-
· the Council had committed itself to a very ambitious carbon neutral goal before the Covid-19 crisis and lockdown and there was a need to build the Council’s recovery plan around the net zero ambitions;
· during the last recession, goals for addressing global warming had been relaxed and, as such, it was important to ensure the highest standards would be incorporated within future policies, to include a significant shift away from global to local resourcing;
· given the unprecedented financial challenge, with a forecast loss of £10 million for the year against a £13.5 million net budget and the Council lacking sufficient organisational resources, a staged approach with alternative and innovative options was necessary to respond to the climate emergency, such as retrofitting of housing and initiatives around transport and mobility, as examples of a necessary mainstream approach; and
· it would be a city wide endeavour, Exeter City Futures having already established a network across the city with the Liveable Exeter Place Board identified as the appropriate body to adopt the plan on behalf of the city of Exeter as a whole. The Board had already amended the Exeter Vision 2040 with its commitment to a carbon neutral Exeter by 2030.
Councillor D. Moore, having given notice under Standing Order No. 44, spoke on this item.
The response of the Council Leader is attached as an appendix to the minutes.
During the discussion, the following points were raised:-
· report of Exeter City Futures welcomed as an accessible road map for the public and stakeholders towards achieving carbon neutrality;
· regardless of Covid-19, it would be important to build on earlier consultations with communities on the carbon neutral goal as well as the Council’s considerable ability to build effective partnerships with the private and voluntary sector and the business community. Responsibility should also be accepted on an individual basis;
· an extensive retrofit programme for homes should be progressed as it will significantly help to contribute towards carbon savings and can also be achieved through the council housing stock. In addition, it should also be extended to the private sector. Fuel costs will be reduced, especially for families suffering fuel poverty; and
· a valuable virtual forum had been held on 20 May – an Emergency Transport and Travel Roundtable - including discussion groups from across the wider community.
RECOMMENDED that Council approve:-
(1) the adoption of the Net-Zero Exeter 2030 Plan as Council policy to inform all policy documents, plans and corporate decision making in response to the Climate Emergency and in pursuance of the goal to make Exeter a carbon neutral city ... view the full minutes text for item 60