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Policy GESP2: Climate Emergency

To accord with the advice of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), carbon emissions from the Greater Exeter area will need to decrease to net-zero by 2040 at the latest. Decisions on infrastructure investment and development applications will consider their impact on achieving this target.

5.5 The Greater Exeter area should make a proportionate contribution towards meeting the Climate Change Act 2008 (as amended) In 2016 total emissions in the Greater Exeter area were 3.6 MtCO2e. Transport emissions dominate (31%), followed by buildings (23%), agriculture (17%) and the power sector (16%). Minor contributors (13% total) include waste, fluorinated gases (F-gases) and heavy industry. By 2040 at the latest we aim to see emissions reduce to net-zero. However, the Greater Exeter councils will work collaboratively to achieve net-zero at an earlier date, consistent with individual authorities’ climate emergency declarations.

5.6 Measures to reduce carbon emissions nationally have been driven by the power and waste sectors. However, all sectors will need to achieve significant carbon reductions to meet legally binding targets including transport and buildings, with the latter being easier than some others in which to initiate effective measures. Development plan documents are one of the areas where local authorities can influence carbon emissions at a local level.

5.7 This rest of this chapter contains draft policies which, working with the GESP spatial development and transport strategies, will support the achievement of this overall target. However, it is recognised that much of the progress will be met by decisions taken at a national and international level, such as through the continued decarbonisation of the country’s energy supply.

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