Exeter climate activists subvertise bus shelters with satirical newspaper front pages
City centre posters promoting "The Big One", a mass gathering in Parliament Square on 21 April expected to begin four days of climate action in Westminster involving 100,000 people.
City council sustainable food policy is a climate crisis red herring
Proposed changes don't apply to council meetings or most council food provision and are expected to have unquantifiably small impact while diverting resources from major decarbonisation challenges.
Is the grass really greener in Exeter city centre?
Academic research placing Exeter retail area at top of green space table was nationally reported, locally misrepresented then repurposed as booster fuel by local politicians overlooking study's social justice focus.
South West Water performance remains among worst in sector as it falls further behind targets
Regulator highlights "sustained poor performance" after serious pollution incidents nearly triple and Environment Agency condemns company in annual assessment.
Climate Action Hub opens in Exeter city centre
A dedicated climate crisis information and resource centre is opening on 25 November in an empty Princesshay retail unit to provide events, meeting space, film screenings and drop-in advice and support.
World car free day ignored in Exeter as Extinction Rebellion challenges council climate inaction
Protestors gathered outside council offices as CEO Karime Hassan posed for photo with construction company development manager at Princesshay promotion.
University emissions study confirms Net Zero Exeter plan redundancy
Council retains Exeter City Futures' services despite history of delivery failures and lack of capacity to support defined decarbonisation targets.
Net Zero Exeter accountability under scrutiny
Exeter City Council's response to the climate crisis has so far been characterised by numerous failings. Unfortunately its attitude towards accountability for its actions in this area is also cause for concern.
Exeter greenhouse gas report disregards hundreds of thousands of tonnes of annual city emissions
Restricted scope of study misrepresents scale of city's impact to produce partial decarbonisation targets while ignoring opportunities to reduce emissions imported by residents, businesses and visitors, guaranteeing net zero failure.
NOTES & SKETCHES
The county council-convened Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG) has continued its apparent commitment to avoiding public scrutiny of its decision-making by simultaneously publishing the minutes of six of its meetings (which are held in private without published agendas) at the end of May — despite some being held in March...
Do Exeter Labour election campaign claims stand up to scrutiny? Part III: Climate & environment
The third in our 2022 local elections series examines Exeter Labour claims about climate crisis leadership, renewable energy, recycling, retrofitting and development standards as well as decisions to scrap council and city decarbonisation goals.
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Leaderless by design?
The county council’s plan to delay taking action on decarbonisation, otherwise known as the Devon Carbon Plan, continues to achieve its aim as (bear with us) the county council cabinet responds to its consultation on its response to the Devon Climate Assembly’s responses to the subset of Interim Devon Carbon Plan issues it has successfully avoided confronting...
Exeter City Council abandons city 2030 decarbonisation "ambition"
Unannounced decision to exclude scope 3 emissions constituting around 43% of Exeter's carbon footprint from "net zero" plans effectively ensures city will not meet its decarbonisation goals.
Council reveals plan for "Pods in Exeter's Sky" to beat city congestion
Exeter City Futures proposal connects key city sites with a network of Alpine-style cable cars as an alternative to traffic improvement measures.
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We heart climate crisis
Anyone who might have been tempted to believe that the climate crisis is at the heart of everything Exeter City Council does (as it repeatedly claims) need look no further than its response to the consultation on the Devon climate assembly’s output report for clarification...
Exeter decarbonisation plans found wanting in nationwide council climate action plan study
Somerset West and Taunton highest scoring local authority area with East Devon in third place nationally in comprehensive Climate Emergency UK analysis.
NOTES & SKETCHES
Meanwhile the poor record of the county council-led Devon Climate Emergency Response Group on keeping the public informed about what it is up to reached a new low this month, when it simultaneously published the minutes of ten meetings on the same day, some from as long ago as August...
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Must try harder
The university recently let us know that its carbon emissions were down 19% during the 2020-21 academic year, although as the reductions came mostly from travel that didn’t take place because of the COVID-19 pandemic we look forward to seeing how it will frame what will presumably therefore be an emissions increase next year...
County council doubles down on pension fund divestment position
Devon Pension Fund remains committed to fossil fuel investment despite increasingly untenable pension fund committee position that relies on unfounded shareholder influence claims and failure to understand sector position and plans.
Exe Estuary wildlife refuges succeed in increasing bird numbers
Three year monitoring study confirms introduction of protected spaces has resulted in greater numbers of wildfowl using internationally important Dawlish Warren and Exmouth sites.
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Net Zero Exeter 2030?
Research by University of Exeter students has concluded that local councils need to provide clearer and more accessible information on how they are addressing the climate emergency...
COP-EXE event showcases local responses to global climate crisis
Exeter city centre venues host exhibitions promoting local action to mitigate the climate crisis in tandem with the COP26 conference in Glasgow.
Greens call for evidence-based Exeter carbon budget as city council clings to net zero rhetoric
The Net Zero Exeter plan lacks baseline emissions figures, recognised scope definitions and measurement and reporting frameworks, placing the city's decarbonisation agenda at risk. The opportunity for Exeter to demonstrate genuine climate crisis leadership nevertheless remains.
Exeter activists criticise corporate climate crisis claims with city centre bus shelter subvertising
As the 2021 United Nations climate change conference (COP26) begins in Glasgow, activists post parody bus shelter adverts aimed at corporate greenwashing in Exeter city centre.
Greta Thunberg calls on world leaders for honesty at COP26
An interview with climate activist Greta Thunberg on the eve of the COP26 summit published in partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global media collaboration.
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Less is more
The University of Exeter published its long-awaited “Strategy 2030” on Monday. It’s a remarkable document, not least because of the Nobel-sized aspirations it expresses...
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Exeter City Council scraps own "unachievable" carbon emissions target
In an extraordinary reversal, the city council removed the goal of achieving carbon neutral operations by 2022 from its corporate risk register at an Audit & Governance committee meeting last week...
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We're all in it together
Last Friday the UN released a report assessing the combined climate action plans of all 191 parties to the Paris Agreement which found that they point towards a catastrophic 2.7°C temperature rise by the end of the century...
Exeter climate campaigners protest at £157 million Devon Pension Fund fossil fuel investment
Fridays for Future Exeter led a march through the city to County Hall where demonstrators called on Devon County Council to divest the local public sector pension scheme it manages from fossil fuels.
South West Water misses pollution targets for tenth year running
Environment Agency says regional company's performance "drags down the whole sector's reputation" as report places it at bottom of annual assessment league table while company pays out millions in shareholder dividends.
Environmental activist Imogen May defiant after second liability order for non-payment of council tax
Extinction Rebellion demonstrated at Exeter Law Courts in support of Crediton lone parent who has withheld council tax for two years in protest over government climate crisis inaction.
António Guterres on the climate crisis: "We are coming to a point of no return"
An interview with the UN Secretary General on the eve of the G7 summit in Cornwall published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration.
Devon Pension Fund fossil fuel investment position exposed by Shell and BP AGM votes
Shareholder support for Paris Agreement-compatible goals increases but fails to prevent continuing oil and gas exploration, extraction, production or consumption as experts intensify warnings that emissions reductions goals will be missed.
South West Exeter district heating network plan abandoned
Property developers refuse to back scheme despite local authorities committing £7.3 million to project to supply 2500 new homes with waste heat from Marsh Barton incinerator, Exeter's largest single source of carbon emissions.
Is Exeter City Council going to abandon its Net Zero 2030 target?
Review suggests alignment with Devon Carbon Plan, currently aimed at 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050, citing "technical and financial challenges ahead", although change in policy would require decision by councillors after 6 May local elections.
Devon Carbon Plan consultation finds majority want net zero by 2030
Devon Climate Emergency Response Group questions whether 2030 "realistic" and suggests "palatable" compromise while only 13% of consultees support UK government's 2050 target.
World Meteorological Organization report confirms "relentless" intensification of climate crisis despite pandemic lockdowns
2020 set to be equal warmest year on record despite cooling La Niña while Internal Energy Agency warns post-pandemic economic stimulus expected to drive second largest annual increase in carbon emissions in history and UK emissions set to overshoot 2030 target by 40%.
Atmospheric concentration of CO2 now 50% above pre-industrial levels
Met Office says 2021 will be first year on record in which symbolic threshold breached for more than a few days as UK prepares to host COP26 United Nations Climate Change Conference.
I'm a climate scientist – here's three key things I have learned over a year of COVID
A leading climate scientist's perspective on what the community has learned over the past year about the interactions between the pandemic and the current and future global climate.
Report places Devon County Council among UK's top local authority fossil fuel investors
£157 million of Devon Local Government Pension Scheme is invested in companies including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, BHP, Anglo American and ExxonMobil despite local authority climate emergency declarations and carbon reduction commitments.
District heating network planned for new South West Exeter development
Local councils are investing up to £7.3 million in a £23 million project to supply a development of 2500 homes with heat which depends on the Marsh Barton waste incinerator, Exeter's largest single source of carbon emissions.
University research consortium launches "Accelerate to Net Zero" project
The GW4 Alliance of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter universities has launched a collaborative project aimed at accelerating decarbonisation across South West England and Wales.
Hospital creates parking for 200 cars despite city climate crisis goals
Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital says new parking "temporary" but no end-date given in planning application and no hard evidence of need provided.
Is the "Net Zero" Exeter plan fit for purpose?
Exeter City Futures' carbon reduction plan ignores over a million tonnes of carbon emissions and massively underestimates the challenges facing the city.
Exeter City Council accepts climate emergency plan to make city carbon neutral by 2030
Chief Executive warns that resourcing the plan is "problematic" given COVID-19 financial challenges and that lack of resources limits the council's capacity for immediate practical action.
Is Exeter finally responding to the climate emergency?
A surge of activity about action to combat climate change is taking place in Exeter, including the publication of a carbon neutral blueprint pending a "mobilisation summit", but detail and evidence is still missing and community engagement is falling short of debate.
Exeter climate strike anniversary march brings junction to standstill
Protestors form human chain around County Hall to highlight Devon County Council's role as key regional climate policy decision-maker after Exeter City Council confiscates banners promoting carbon neutral blueprint policies.
Exeter climate strikers create human chain around County Hall
Fridays for Future Exeter led a march through the city to form a human chain around County Hall in protest at climate change inaction.
Exeter global climate strike march
Fridays for Future Exeter led 3500 people on a climate crisis demonstration through the city as millions mobilised in 185 countries worldwide.
Exeter youth climate strikers launch Green New Deal for Devon
Fridays For Future Exeter have published a detailed vision of a more equitable future that calls on elected representatives across the county to recognise the climate crisis as a symptom of a dysfunctional political economy.
Thousands march in Exeter for global climate strike as millions mobilise worldwide
Fridays for Future Exeter led 3500 people on a climate crisis demonstration through the city backed by dozens of organisations on the eve of the UN Climate Action Summit in New York.
Extinction Rebellion Exeter Wave of Water march
Extinction Rebellion campaigners marched through Exeter city centre led by a samba band and dressed in blue to represent a wave of water, highlighting rising sea levels and the coming global water crisis.
Mock funeral march brings Exeter city centre to a sombre standstill
Extinction Rebellion campaigners brought the gravity of the ecological emergency home to Exeter on Saturday in a funereal procession commemorating wildlife loss caused by climate change.
Extinction Rebellion Exeter Funeral march
Extinction Rebellion campaigners brought Exeter City Centre to a standstill with a funereal procession commemorating wildlife loss caused by climate change.
Exeter Youth Strike 4 Climate - the floodgates are open
Exeter is one of the smallest cities in Britain, yet it has produced some of the country's biggest youth strikes. Climate activist Sam Sleeman recounts the story so far and explains what it means to the young people who are creating a global wave of change.
University comes clean on true Exeter campus student numbers over past two decades
Figures obtained under Freedom of Information Act confirm between 7,500 and 12,000 more students based in city each year than university numbers suggest – until this year – with major implications for council planning policy.
Exeter has more empty and second homes than built in city in past two years
Council tax premium proposals that aim to raise additional revenue from underused housing stock might also encourage return to residential occupancy.
30,000 students based at Exeter university campuses in 2022-23
Freedom of information request reveals significant drop on last year with postgraduate students accounting for 58% of fall in numbers.
Closed doors at County Hall for councillor conduct hearings
A survey of local authority approaches to standards committee hearings finds Devon County Council alone in imposing private determination of conduct complaints.
Exeter councillor Yvonne Atkinson found in breach of code of conduct but escapes prosecution
Summary of investigation related to rental property interests involving Devon & Cornwall Police and Crown Prosecution Service withheld by Devon County Council while councillor campaigned for re-election to Exeter City Council.
Labour councillors again appointed to all thirteen committee chairs at annual council meeting
Council leader finally quits planning committee alongside other remaining Executive member but persists with secret board that enables scrutiny evasion.
Decline in Exeter economic activity levels among largest in country
Census figures also show population increasing at nearly six times rate of job creation over past decade while healthcare, wholesale/retail and teaching make up nearly half of all employment, reflecting low pay and productivity.
Council borrowing nearly triples in three years as property acquisition and development loans mount
Freedom of information request reveals five paragraph "outline business plan" for £55 million Guildhall shopping centre investment.
Exeter beset by unaffordable housing, low graduate retention and economically inactive over 50's
Exeter City Council executive ignores key challenges flagged in major council-commissioned employment and skills research report.