ELF will be holding a free community event at Exeter University on 16th October

By Tom Brenan

Devon Climate Emergency Response: Transforming agriculture to reduce emissions

The Environmental Law Foundation(ELF) will be holding a free community event at Exeter University on 16thOctober from 2pm to 5pm to consider how local residents and businesses can help to achieve Devon’s Climate Emergency ambitions and transform agricultural practices to help decarbonise Devon by 2030. The event will feature presentations from Peter Chamberlain of Devon’s Climate Emergency Group, the Sustainable Food Trust’s Head of Policy, Honor May Eldridge, and Jeremy Roe from local community group Too Much Slurry, followed by a workshop with Environmental Solicitor David Sumner to explore some of the issues and opportunities in more detail.

Devon County Council (DCC) recently joined a growing network of UK councils declaring a Climate Emergencyin response to reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the UK Committee on Climate Change about the urgent need to address global warming. The underlying principles of the declaration highlight the need for transformational change and cover a number of areas. They include: “Changing agricultural practices to reduce emissions associated with farming operations, manage soil sustainably and replenish carbon”.

Concerns about the environmental and public health impacts from agricultural activities such as slurry spreading, pesticide and inorganic fertiliser use have been raised within rural Devon communities for a number of years. ELF’s Casework Director, Emma Montlake, said:

“The event will focus on the recognition in the Climate Emergency Declaration of the need for change within agriculture as an opportunity for communities both to help shape a new approach and to influence the environmental decision-making required for its introduction and implementation.”

Participants will explore the opportunities to make their voice heard, ways to do so effectively and how to challenge lack of appropriate action. The overall aim is to assist communities to protect their local environments while helping Devon move towards its zero carbon target.

This will be a pilot for a nationwide programme of events to explore how the Climate Emergency Declarations provide opportunities for communities to influence local environmental decision-making (for example, within the local planning system) and demonstrate how action to address local environmental concerns can link with action on climate change.

The event will take place in The Forum Expo Lab 2, Exeter University, EX4 4QR from 2pm to 5pm. Entrance is free but those interested in attending are asked to register: http://bit.ly/ELFevent.

For more information please contact: events@elflaw.org