Exeter will strive to become carbon neutral by 2030, the City Council announced on Friday, March 15. This commitment follows a motion recognising the urgency of climate change and Exeter’s duty to act “quickly, collectively and concertedly”.
Meeting with protestors outside Exeter Civic Centre, Cllr Rachel Sutton confirmed the goal and explained environmental work already being undertaken by the Council.
Protestors were taking part in a day of demonstrations across the world, which saw thousands of students campaign for climate change to be taken more seriously by governments.
Exeter City Council claims to have reduced its own energy consumption by over a third.
The motion to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030 aims to position Exeter as a leading city in fighting climate change. Exeter City Council has previously pioneered Passivhaus standards for energy efficient housing, employed centralised district heating networks, and claims to have reduced its own energy consumption by over a third.
Pioneering research in the field already takes place at the Met Office and University of Exeter, and the City Council has also partnered with several local institutions to create Exeter City Futures, a community interest company addressing issues such as transport and clean air.
Some Exeter residents and local businesses praised the carbon commitment, while others called for more concrete and binding action in a time where climate change promises are often seen as lip service.