Guide: A Warm Response - Our Climate Change Challenge

Climate Change Action Plan

What actions do we need to take?


The strategic framework for the climate change programme identifies a two step process i.e. set-up followed by strategic action. Whilst it is possible to be prescriptive about the activities required to initiate and complete the set-up process in each of the three key areas (i.e. communications, mitigation and adaptation), the identification and prioritisation of strategic actions will depend on the findings of early work in these disciplines. Therefore, with the exception of the set-up process, this action plan intends to identify example actions only.

The Set-up Process

The strategy identifies six key objectives that are essential in order to define and prioritise further work. These objectives and associated actions are outlined in priority order below.


A pilot climate change awareness raising project was launched at the Devon County Show in May 2005. This initial activity was based on a “local heroes” theme using the strapline “Make a climate change for the better”. The project delivered an exhibition stand complete with advertising hoardings and flat screen for presenting an in house DVD on climate change. The campaign was supported by a newspaper double page insert and five days of editorial focussing on climate change action in the home. Fridge magnets highlighting the key messages were given away at the show.

The principal lesson learned from this initial activity is that the general public is aware of the climate change debate but that the connection with personal lifestyle and the home is not yet strong enough to promote behavioural change. Climate change is seen as a “future” rather than “now” issue and something that is caused by someone else in some other place with consequences that will impact elsewhere. Consequently, potential solutions are exported to future generations and to other cultures and countries.

With this experience the following actions are required;

Serial Action Output





The Strategic Actions

Strategic actions will emerge from the set-up process for each of the following six strategic objectives. Example actions are given in each case.


Example actions may include:

  •  To set up a series of training events for facilities managers around DCC properties and the schools. This would be an educationalprogramme to improve the energyefficientoperation of the DCC estate.
  •  To support and encourage the County Hall “environment promoters” project.



Example actions may include:

  •  To produce an annual progress report on emissions reduction performance.
  • To cost and seek approval for an annual mitigation agenda for implementation based on the catalogue of potential mitigation measures.
  • To introduce energy benchmarking and monitoring in all buildings.
  • To conduct energy audits and make recommendations for improving energy efficiency.
  • Implement waste management strategy across DCC to incorporate all premises – this would include a call-off collection contract to incorporate recycling.
  • Implement a schools waste collection contract to include recycling.



Example actions may include:

  • To promote green electricity tariffs to domestic customers.
  • To ensure a complementary relationship between climate change and other work of the DSP.
  • Reduce demand for fossil fuels through such actions as car sharing schemes, Green Travel Plans for businesses, schools etc., promoting more sustainable travel options (walking, cycling, bus and train), homeworking and video conferencing.
  • Promote and implement energy efficiency measures.
  • Promote and implement sustainable and renewable energy solutions.
  • “Sink” more greenhouse gases by promoting the conservation of existing woodland, the creation of new and the planting of trees in the urban environment.
  • To reduce landfill by linking recycling with reduced landfill and climate change in waste management publicity.
  • To use the carbon footprint concept to highlight a typical household’s waste to landfill.
  • Via the Devon Sustainable Energy Network;
  • Provide a strategic, co-ordinated and practical approach to promoting renewable energy.
  • Market the concept that emissions reduction is achievable at local community level.
  • Support community based energy conservation schemes.
  • Develop a partnership between Devon’s construction professionals, building materials industry and academics to develop a credible system for true energy costing in the manufacture, supply and use of construction materials.
  • Influence SWCCIP to give greater prominence to the effects of climate change on the transport infrastructure.
  • To promote the sale of energy efficient appliances.
  • To promote the use of sustainable building principles in all new developments.
  • To meet the renewable energy targets for Devon.
  • To meet recycling, composting and landfill waste management targets.SOA9

Example actions may include:

  • Review and update where necessary local emergency planning policies, procedures and plans.
  • To include projections for changes in patterns of extreme weather as part of the local risk assessment to be undertaken as part of the Civil Contingencies Act.
  • To promote resilience measures amongst communities and individuals.
  • To identify the impact of climate change on the highways emergency planning process.


Example actions may include:

• To develop a catalogue of lessons learned from other Councils following recent extreme weather events like Summer 2003, Boscastle (August 2004) and the October 2004 storm and coastal flooding.


Example actions may include:

  • To identify relevant strategies, policies and plans, prioritising those that have a statutory basis.
  • To ensure climate change is identified as a cross cutting issue in the DCC Strategic Plan and reflected in Directorate Business Plans.
  • To investigate the potential change in air quality in Devon under the regional climate change scenarios.
  • To respond to consultation from external agencies to ensure climate change is considered in policy development.
  • To produce a Climate Change report for Devon and take action on recommendations.
  • To promote opportunities related to improved health benefits from reduced winter cold and extended summer warmth.
  • Assess the likely impacts, both positive and negative, of climate change in the short, medium and long term, i.e., up to 50 years.
  • Consider the action required for the maintenance or adaptation of strategic infrastructure such as the built environment, the transport network, utilities etc.
  • Undertake climate impact and adaptation assessments for key “exposure units”.
  • Consider the implications for the coastal zone;
  • Review and implementation of Shoreline Management Plans.
  • Identify sites for ‘managed retreat’ and those needing maintenance and repair and integrate them into strategic planning processes.
  • “Managed retreat” initiatives.
  • Create new habitats as a part of managed retreat.
  • Build benefits of climate change into promotion and publicity material.