Why has a climate emergency been declared for Devon?
In February 2019, Devon County Council agreed to declare a ‘Climate Emergency’.
We reiterated our commitment to the environment by signing up to the Devon Climate Declaration in July 2019. Councillors also agreed to set up a special working party to look specifically at tackling climate change and what we can do to help prevent global warming.
The Devon Climate Declaration commits to collaborating to engage Devon’s residents, businesses and visitors to develop and implement a plan to achieve a 45% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and by 100% by 2050 or at the earliest credible date supported by emerging research.
This action was prompted by the 15th Special Report from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warning of some of the effects of 2°C rise in global temperatures:
- up to 30% of all species would be at risk of extinction
- 90% of tropical coral reefs would be lost
- crop yields would reduce
- droughts would become more common
The report also identifies that by limiting warming to 1.5°C and reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs):
- 50% fewer species will be at risk of significant habitation loss
- 10 million fewer people will be displaced due to rises in sea levels
- 420 million fewer people will be exposed to extreme heatwaves
- the chance of sea-ice-free Arctic summers will reduce to 1 in 100, instead of 1 in 10 at 2°C