West Devon Climate Change and Biodiversity Newsletter - October 2020 Edition

Climate Change and Biodiversity Emergency

View web version

October 2020

Reducing our Carbon Footprint and increasing Biodiversity

Thank you for subscribing to this newsletter. This is a place for us to update you on what we are doing at West Devon Borough Council, what things are going on around the Borough, what's going on nationally and things, you, our residents and businesses, can be doing to reduce your carbon footprint and manage your land to improve the environment and its biodiversity.

If you have anything you would like to include in this newsletter then contact our Climate Change Specialist by email here and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

How did you get on last month with the September Cycle Challenge through Love to Ride? Did you manage to use the Action for Insects handbook by the Wildlife Trust, or even get involved with the national litter picking campaign? Send your experiences and examples to us if you did!

This Month's Tips and Events

Green Homes Grant Vouchers

Following on from an announcement made by the Government in July 2020, homeowners can now apply for either £5000 or £10,000 towards the cost of making their homes more energy efficient. To apply and find out more about the scheme click here.

Among some of the measures you can use the voucher for are air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and biomass pellet boilers. These are alternative means of heating homes which do not rely on gas or oil and can  reduce your energy costs and carbon emissions.

If you'd like to find out more about these, including whether they are right for you and the permissions that you may or may not need, then Simple Energy Advice has some great information about these which can be found here

solar together

Solar Devon Together Launch!

Have you been considering solar panels but don’t know where to begin?

Councils across Devon are working together through the Devon Climate Emergency initiative to reduce Devon’s carbon emissions. This innovative new scheme offering high-quality solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and battery storage is part of the emergency response.

Solar Together Devon is a group-buying scheme, which brings households together to get high-quality solar panels at a competitive price. To find out more about their hassle-free approach, register your interest before the end of Monday 5 October 2020 and join more than 2,500 others so far, click here to find out more.


TED Countdown 2020

On 10 October, TED will be launching a global initiative to champion and accelerate solutions to the climate crisis, turning ideas into action. 

This initiative will start with an online event with five curated sessions hosted by TED where experts, policymakers and activists will discuss what they think a healthy, abundant and zero emissions future can look like. What this event will seek to do is serve as inspiration in building a better future and for people everywhere to step up and participate. The five sessions which will take place on 10 October will include a wide range of speakers from the likes of António Guterres, Hal Harvey, Chris Hemsworth, Jane Fonda, Prince William and many more.

After this event and building on the ideas shared on that day, TED will work with partners to support a series of cross-sector projects to tackle a climate related challenge which will all lead to a summit which will be held in Edinburgh in 2021. 

To find out more click here and to see the full program, including the list of speakers, click here.

clean air day

Clean Air Day 2020

October 8 is Clean Air Day, this is a day of action and awareness coordinated by Global Action Plan. The campaign aims to bring together schools, communities, business, the health sector and individuals to; 

  •  Improve public understanding of air pollution.
  •  Build awareness of how air pollution affects our health.
  •  Explain the easy actions we can all do to tackle air pollution, helping to protect the environment and our health
  • Turn understanding into action

Some of the resources on their website include;

  • Trailing a School Street
  • Posters
  • Social media resources and graphics
  • Air pollution calculators 
  • No-idling leaflet

Their website can be found here, perhaps you can use the day to trial a car free day for your household or community?

bio fest

Bio-Diverse Festival October 2020

Between 12 and 18 October 2020 an online science conference will take place focused around diversity and inclusivity in biology and conservation, the event is sponsored by the British Ecological Society and the Woodland Trust.

Over the course of the week will be a series of live keynote talks, pre-recorded talks and live Q&A sessions with inspirational scientists and conservationists. In addition to this there will be short video blogs, workshops and skills sessions and a one-day Twitter conference. To find out more about this event and to register click here. 

New Research and Publications

Publication of the final report of Climate Assembly UK

Climate Assembly

On 10 September 2020, the the national Net Zero Climate Assembly UK was published, which was Commissioned by the House of Commons.

The assembly brought together 108 people who were chosen to represent a variety of views held about climate change across the UK and are representative of age, gender, where they live, ethnicity and their level of education.

There were a total of 50 recommendations, some of them are;

  • Frequent flyer levies
  • Phase out SUVs
  • Restrict High Carbon Adverts
  • Increase Retrofitting
  • More Tree Planting
  • Increase use of Heat Pumps to move away from gas
  • Fairness and involvement with the public
  • Solar and wind power
  • Public awareness and more education about Climate Change
  • Reduce road building

You can read the report in full and watch a video about it here

An overwhelming majority of people want real change after COVID-19


A new global Ipsos survey for the World Economic Forum indicates that an overwhelming number of people wish for the world emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in a more sustainable and fairer way.

21,000 people took part in the survey across 28 countries and the results of this show “a profound and widespread desire for change rather than a return to how things were before the COVID-19 pandemic” Ipsos said. To see more details about the survey click here.

The result of this survey come during a time where the World Economic Forum has started 'The Great Reset initiative', click here to find out more, including some recent articles, videos and podcasts.