For the past two years, a range of organisations in Torbay have been working together – via the Torbay Climate Partnership – to develop a coordinated approach to tackling climate change in, and to date, a series of public engagement events and consultation work has been led by Torbay Council on behalf of the Partnership.

A new framework and action plan - A Greener Way For Our Bay - is now out for consultation with Torbay residents, and this has been updated and revised in response to previous consultation and engagement work.

For more information download the below documents

Greener Way For Our Bay
Frequently Asked Questions
A Greener Way For Our Bay Framework And Action
Consultation Draft

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What we’ve done so far

In 2022, the first Torbay Climate Emergency Action Plan (TCEAP) was co-developed by the Partnership. This was informed by:

  • The Net Zero Torbay Report 2020 – this report was by the University of Exeter. The report shows that the challenge is significant by 2050 (central government target), but even more challenging by 2030.
  • Community Conference in November 2021 – This event focused on tackling climate change. Around 100 people attended and focused on identifying priority actions needed to be taken in Torbay.
  • Business Questionnaire 2022 – We carried out a survey with a number of local businesses to ask them about the barriers to delivering Net Zero. Just under 40 businesses responded.
  • Climate Conversations – May – July 2022. Five public events were held to build on the findings from the Net Zero Torbay Report, the Community Conference, and the Business Questionnaire. The series of half-day sessions were held to further help decide what actions should be prioritised to tackle climate change in Torbay. The events were attended by around 100 people. Find out more about our Climate Conversations.

A draft Torbay Climate Emergency Action Plan went out to public consultation from December 2022 to February 2023. 

  • Around 200 people responded to the survey and quick poll, and the Action Plan received very polarised views.
  • The results showed as many people supported it as did not, with just under 11% not sure.
  • Those that did not support it expressed a range of views in their responses including, There is no climate emergency-climate change is a hoax and a globalist agenda designed by the World Economic Forum or others to restrict people’s freedoms
  • Concerns expressed that some of the proposed actions to achieve carbon neutral targets by 2030 will negatively impact Torbay
  • Confusion over terms and meaning of an action relating to carrying out a 20 minute audit of neighbourhoods. We issued a statement in January 2023 to clarify this issue.
  • More respondents supported the objectives and actions of the Action Plan than did not

The latest Synthesis Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states that it is unequivocal that human activities, principally through emissions of greenhouse gases, have warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land, and that widespread and rapid changes to the climate have occurred. Given the scientific evidence on human-induced climate change the TCP will continue to try and help Torbay play its part in tackling the causes and effects of climate change. Given the low response rate to the consultation on the TCEAP, the TCP have decided to amend the draft TCEAP in line with some of the responses received to date and to go out for another round of public engagement and consultation. Below are some proposed changes to the TCEAP:

  • Align the target with the national target of net zero emissions by 2050 (100% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions) and 78% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2035) as a response to the concerns about the speed and impact of meeting a 2030 target for Torbay.
  • Further clarity on all transport related actions will be given in the new plan and to avoid confusion with 15/20 minute cities/similar concepts that are not in any plans for Torbay.
  • Some concern was also raised as to who will fund the required works and that residents will be stuck footing expensive bills to improve their homes or buy electric vehicles by 2030. Alignment with national targets and programmes will create the most cost effective transition, avoiding additional costs to Torbay that would have arisen under a 2030 carbon neutral target. To the best of the TCP control, they will also try and explore and secure funding to help ensure a fair and just transition, particularly as central government legislation comes into effect i.e. the ban on new petrol and diesel cars in 2030 or the 80% reduction in gas boilers from 2035. Please note that the current draft TCEAP does not force any actions onto residents and business. Most actions are about encouraging change via local advice and projects or about accessing and promoting central government grants to support action for those that need it. 
  • To try and alleviate some concerns raised about impacts on delivering actions in Torbay, a high-level economic, social, equalities and environmental impact assessment on the Top 25 actions in the draft TCEAP has been carried out and actions removed/strengthened to minimise impacts and/or maximise economic and social benefits. All subsequent action plans priority actions will also undergo such an assessment/similar.
  • A new framework (Greener Way for our Bay), accompanied by a series of short and medium term plans will replace the TCEAP. The Framework will set out the long term ambitions and the pathway to 2050. It will be delivered by a series of short term action plans (2024 -2027). The new plans are available here. Have your say

Other useful links

Torbay Climate Emergency Action Plan 
A two-year plan to help the whole of Torbay work towards becoming carbon neutral1 by 2030.