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Exeter targets carbon neutrality by 2030

Words: Laura Edgar
Exeter / iStock-476875660

Exeter City Futures has set out its plan to the city council detailing how the city could become carbon-neutral by 2030 – and ensuring that everyone has access to renewable energy.

Working with people, businesses and institutions from across the city, the independent community interest company has developed the ‘Plan for a Net Zero Exeter’, a strategy that considers all of the city’s infrastructure.

It looks at how the city can create reliable journeys and resilient roads, renewable energy access for everyone, clean air for Exeter, affordable healthy homes for everyone, how the dominance of cars can be reduced, reduce energy consumption, and efficient resource management among other measures.

This first iteration of the plan will be under constant review. Exeter City Futures said it would be refreshed towards the end of 2020 to reflect the city’s position as a result of the coronavirus, and then annually as projects are begun. 

Dr Liz O’Driscoll, managing director at Exeter City Futures, said: “Despite the unprecedented coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, I’m extremely pleased to present the Net Zero Exeter plan to Exeter City Council and the city on how Exeter can be carbon-neutral by 2030.

“It has been four years in the making with collaboration with the many different communities, institutions, organisations and individuals who make up our city.

“Everyone across Exeter has a role to play; this isn’t something that can be delivered by any local authority alone. Many businesses and individuals are now struggling to deal with the impacts of Covid-19 and this is likely to change the way the city views and responds to the plan.

“More than ever the city needs to come together to think about the kind of future that we really want, and make it a reality.”

The plan sets out a number of statistics, including:

  • If businesses in Exeter were provided with carbon reduction resources, more than 34,000 tonnes of carbon a year would be saved. 
  • 53,000 tonnes of carbon would be saved if 100 per cent of Exeter’s electricity were generated from clean sources.
  • 140,000 tonnes of carbon would be saved if Exeter were to exploit the maximum potential for renewable generation (solar, wind, geothermal).

As a result of the lockdown restrictions to stem the spread of Covid-19, Exeter City Futures explained that it would be working over the next few months to develop ways in people, communities and businesses “can continue to play their part in the city’s ambition to become net zero”.

Image credit | iStock