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Devon agencies act now to tackle climate emergency

“These are not just warm words. These are facts. This is a climate emergency, and as Chief Executives of Devon’s public service providers, we have a duty on behalf of all of our organisations and those who we represent to commit to action now,” said Phil Norrey, Chief Executive of Devon County Council.


Chief Executives and Directors from nearly 20 public and private sector organisations in Devon, have given with one voice their unhindered commitment to tackling the climate emergency.

Public bodies, business representatives and utility companies – all members of a new Devon Climate Emergency Response Group – have been asked to support urgent action on the climate emergency.

In a telephone meeting of the group, chaired by Devon County Council’s Chief Executive, Phil Norrey, they unanimously agreed to collaborate, committing each organisation to review their own carbon reduction plans and to work together on a Devon-wide carbon plan.

Each organisation will be represented on a county Climate Emergency Tactical Group that will initially see to the drafting of the declaration within the next fortnight.


Dr Norrey said:

“We know that climate change has the potential to seriously damage human welfare and the environment and has already caused civil unrest. I am acutely mindful that no single organisation can address this issue alone, nor can local organisations and communities bring about the scale of change necessary without substantial national government intervention.

“Our younger generation has sent a very passionate message in response to the climate emergency. Action is needed more than words. This is the first time that major organisations in the county have stood behind that call and in one voice agreed to act now.”


Deputy Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall Police, Paul Netherton, will lead a Devon Climate Impacts Group as part of the initiative, and was on the call. The group will look at how infrastructure and the delivery of public services generally will have to adapt to climate change.

He said:

“This is an emergency. The timescales are different to those that we regularly respond to, but if we don’t act, the consequences are horrendous.”