Exeter City Council has declared a climate emergency. The City Council has asked Exeter City Futures to work with people and from across the city to create a clear delivery roadmap. This will set out the scale of the challenge, the likely actions that will need to be taken (and who they need to be taken by) as well as an estimate of the amount of investment that will be required to ensure that Exeter is, and is in a position to remain, carbon neutral by 2030.

This work began with a programme of public engagement as well as focussed activities with businesses, community and city leaders and was intended to culminate in the Net Zero Exeter Mobilisation Summit on 26 March 2020. Unfortunately the government advice regarding covid-19 meant that this event had to be cancelled.

The purpose of our engagement was not to ask people how to make Exeter carbon neutral or what they want Exeter to look like in 2030. Exeter City Futures has already undertaken extensive research, analysis and engagement across the City and our 12 Goals, and the features within them, provide a blueprint for a net-zero Exeter. Instead the purpose of the engagement was to reflect on the blueprint and to ask what the barriers are from the perspectives of the people who live and work in the City as well as those who are tasked with leadership. Many of the features of the plan present significant challenges and we felt it was important to explore these with residents, businesses, public sector organisations and councillors so that we can be sure that as a City we understand the scale of what needs to be achieved and where we might each need to make change.

During February and March, we worked with a range of partners to deliver a range of events, inviting people from across Exeter, to discuss the need for change and share their thoughts on any challenges, barriers and areas of concern as the City undertakes this ten year journey.

The events were intended to be enjoyable and meaningful and to take the city one step closer to achieving the carbon neutral ambition through providing the opportunity to explore the issues together.

The information and responses gathered from the engagement activities and summit are being drawn together by Exeter City Futures to form the Net-Zero Exeter plan. This plan will set out a roadmap for Exeter to be carbon neutral by 2030 and summarise the key challenges that will need to be overcome. It will be delivered to Exeter City Council as a collective body of evidence to inform the next steps for our City.