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Exeter carbon neutral plan unveiled

Thursday, 6 February 2020 14:32

By Daniel Clark, Local Democracy Reporting Service

Image: Wiki Commons

It will be launched at the Net Zero Exeter Summit in March

A 93-point Blueprint setting out a specification for all the things that Exeter will need to have in place to become carbon neutral by 2030 has been unveiled.

Exeter City Futures had been tasked by Exeter City Council to develop a roadmap for a carbon neutral Exeter by 2030, and they have now published a Blueprint for how it will be achieved.

The final roadmap will be launched at the Net Zero Exeter Summit on March 26, 2020, and will set out a shared plan of all deliverables that will need to be met and an estimate of the investment that will be required to ensure that Exeter becomes, and is in a position to remain, carbon neutral.

But the now published Blueprint sets out a specification for all the things that Exeter will need to have in place to be carbon neutral.

It outlines that 100 per cent of electricity consumed by the city will have to be generated from clean sources and that the highest energy efficiency standards, Passivhaus or equivalent, shall be the norm

On transport, the Blueprint says there should be a 20 mph speed limit on most City roads and that safe cycling and walking routes and a reliable and efficient public transport service would be essential. All new housing developments should be designed to be car-free, with the city centre, and core walking areas, shall be free from non-essential motorised vehicles.

Exeter’s supermarkets will need to be stocked with a wide range of local produce to reduce food miles, while a regional produce distribution hub shall be created to keep food miles low and make locally produced food accessible, while Exeter’s tree canopy cover shall have been increased by a quarter since 2018.

In respect of waste, Exeter shall be named as a single-use plastic free city, zero waste shops shall be commonplace on the high street and nobody in Exeter shall think that litter is a problem in their community.

Cllr Rachel Sutton, Lead Councillor for Climate & Culture, said: “We welcome this next important stage in the process to becoming carbon neutral and look forward to sharing the document with members of the public and key stakeholders before the Climate Summit in March.”

Dr Liz O’Driscoll, Managing Director at Exeter City Futures, said: “Exeter City Council have declared a climate emergency and are committed to making the city of Exeter carbon neutral by 2030. Exeter now has the opportunity to show leadership among cities through decisive implementation of policies, innovations and investment that shape the way we live and our environmental impact for decades to come.

“Most of us already know what needs to be done, but it is vital everyone understands the scale of the challenge ahead; this is the purpose of the Blueprint. To achieve our goal, we will require strong collaboration and collective action from everyone across the city; individuals, businesses, community organisations and the local authority. The next step is to agree on a shared roadmap for practical action.”

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