Nature’s contributions to humanity is critically important for our livelihoods, economies, quality of life and wellbeing. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) released their 2019 Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services which outlines the implications of the loss of biodiversity in achieving climate-change targets. It is imperative that cities work independently to achieve their climate targets to protect our global environment and the finite natural resources that are available to us.
Here in Exeter, the City Council are working alongside Devon Wildlife Trust and others to identify, preserve and monitor the most important habitats including areas of flower-rich grassland, broadleaved woodland, wetlands and hedgerows. It is critical to ensure that measures to deliver a carbon-neutral City enhance and improve these and other areas; especially in light of the planned growth of Exeter and the surrounding region.
Establishing sustainable local food supplies, capturing rain-water and halting biodiversity loss are vital to ensure that Exeter is a happy and healthy City where both people and nature can thrive in unison.
A Net Zero Exeter will protect its natural ecosystems, favour local food supplies and sustainably manage its natural resources to combat the degradation of its local environment.
- Everyone living in the city shall have access to excellent quality green space within a 10-minute walk from their home.
- All new communities in the city shall have access to land that is reserved for local food production via allotments and city farms.
- Exeter shall have initiated programmes that enable residents to adopt more sustainable and healthy food habits, including the reduction in meat consumption to more sustainable levels.
- Exeter’s supermarkets shall be stocked with a wide range of local produce to reduce food miles and improve local food resilience.
- A regional produce distribution hub shall be created to keep food miles low and make locally produced food accessible.
- Exeter’s sustainable urban drainage infrastructure shall be sufficient to protect against flash flooding in high-density and infrastructure critical areas (e.g. railway stations).
- Exeter’s tree canopy cover shall have been increased by a quarter since 2018.
- Wildlife in Exeter shall be significantly more abundant than in 2018.