The ‘Net Zero’ Exeter plan has “profound flaws”

“City councillors had a very limited understanding of what reducing Exeter’s carbon footprint to sustainable levels would actually involve.”

“Choosing politically-palatable policies to present as solutions that don’t actually work.”

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Transition Exeter is a very active member of the Transition Town movement – and has just sent out its latest newsletter:

August Transition events, talks and news

They report from north Devon:

North Devon and Torridge Climate Forum – Zoom

And they also report  that plans to reduce Exeter’s carbon footprint are in fact not that impressive.

Sophie Sleeman & Martin Redfern of Fridays For Future write in the excellent investigative news site Exeter Observer – and do not hold their punches.

Here are a few extracts:

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Is the “Net Zero” Exeter plan fit for purpose? Part I: Exeter’s carbon footprint

Exeter City Futures’ carbon reduction plan ignores over a million tonnes of carbon emissions and massively underestimates the challenges facing the city. First in a series examining its flaws by Fridays For Future youth climate activists…

Leading climate experts say that policy-makers and their advisers are “running scared” of the fundamental changes that are urgently needed to prevent catastrophic impacts, choosing politically-palatable policies to present as solutions that don’t actually work.

Typology of climate delay discourses. Source: Discourses of climate delay under CC BY 4.0 license.

Despite Exeter City Council’s “mission to be recognised as a leading sustainable city and global leader in addressing the social, economic and environmental challenges of climate change and urbanisation” it is clear that it does not have all the answers to these problems. Neither do Exeter’s youth climate activists: none of us can tackle this crisis alone.

But it is also clear that, despite expressing support for carbon neutrality when first confronted by Exeter’s youth climate strikers in February 2019, and declaring their intent to make the city carbon neutral by 2030 the following month, city councillors had very limited understanding of what reducing Exeter’s carbon footprint to sustainable levels would actually involve.

The Exeter City Futures “Net Zero” Exeter plan subsequently commissioned by the council acknowledges that it also has limitations, and that it is incomplete work in progress that requires further input and development before an update at the end of the year.

However it actually has profound flaws that cannot be addressed by minor changes…

We intend to explore these flaws in a series of articles, of which this is the first, focussed on Exeter’s carbon footprint. The next will assess the viability of carbon offsetting as a method of mitigating the city’s residual emissions when it has exhausted its ability, or willingness, to reduce its carbon footprint voluntarily…

Is the “Net Zero” Exeter plan fit for purpose? Part I: Exeter’s carbon footprint – Exeter Observer

   
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