A top team of environmental experts, community representatives and business leaders has assembled to deliver Devon’s Carbon Plan, the county’s roadmap to carbon neutrality.

The formation of the new Net-Zero Task Force follows the latest meeting of the Devon Climate Emergency Response Group (DCERG), made up of the chief officers of more than 25 public, private and voluntary sector organisations.

Following Devon County Council's pledge of £250,000 to help deliver the plan the authority is advertising for a climate emergency project manager, to coordinate and manage the Devon-wide response to the declaration of climate emergencies by various local authorities and organisations across the county.

The Net-Zero Task Force will be chaired by Professor Patrick Devine-Wright of the University of Exeter, an environmental social scientist.

He specialises in researching issues of social acceptance and community engagement with sustainable energy transitions and is a non-executive director of Exeter Community Energy.

Professor Devine-Wright is a lead author for the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, currently contributing to the 6th assessment report due for publication in 2021.

The task force is comprised of 12 core members with interests in environment, business, academia and health. They will use their knowledge, experience and contacts to ensure the resources available are focussed on the most appropriate decarbonisation issues and can identify the best opportunities to engage with communities effectively. They will be supported by advisory members.

Professor Devine-Wright said: "Climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing humanity - both locally here in Devon and globally. But it also brings significant opportunities to increase wellbeing and sustainability if we come together to face that challenge head on. I am calling on everyone to get involved in producing this plan, whatever your age or background, and wherever you live in the county. Through the citizens assembly, expert hearings and the public consultation, there will be lots of ways to get involved."

Dr Phil Norrey, chairman of the DCERG and chief executive of Devon County Dr Phil Norrey, said: "I want to thank Professor Devine-Wright and each member of the Net-Zero Task force for agreeing to help deliver the Devon Carbon Plan. Each member has been chosen for their experience and knowledge, together providing a balanced mix of specialisms and backgrounds.

"Each are specialists in their respective fields and as a result people can feel assured that the process of developing the Devon Carbon Plan in response to the climate emergency will be as impartial and objective as possible."