Humber to unite in drive towards zero-carbon future at innovative digital summit

Waterline Summit 2019
Bonus Arena, Kingston Upon Hull, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom, 28 November, 2019. Pictured: Waterline Summit

The Humber will unite in the drive towards a zero-carbon future at the region’s first fully immersive digital event of its kind.  

The Waterline Summit 2020 will build on the growing momentum across the estuary to embrace pioneering technologies, attract significant investment and create jobs in a green growth economy. 

Leading names from the national media, government and finance as well as sustainability experts will come together at the event to position the region at the forefront of the global transition to a zero-carbon economic model. 

The event will showcase the Humber’s innovative expertise and focus on how to develop and finance transformational projects.

It will take place next month, following a highly-successful inaugural The Waterline Summit last year which brought together businesses, community groups, colleges and schools to show how the world’s biggest threat is also the region’s biggest opportunity.

With Covid-19 restrictions preventing large public gatherings, Marketing Humber is this year staging the event online, together with event partners the University of Hull and Yorkshire Water.

The virtual summit will be fully interactive, using the vFairs exhibition platform to give attendees an immersive experience where they can browse exhibition stands and attend talks from home, the office or classroom. Participants will also be able to submit questions and comments to join the debate.

Waterline Summit speakers
Speakers at The Waterline Summit 2020 will include, clockwise from top left, Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England; Mark England, Team GB’s Director of Sport Services and Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020; award-winning journalist and presenter Nadine Dereza; and David Shukman, Science Editor of BBC News.

High-profile speakers will include Andrew Bailey, Governor of the Bank of England; David Shukman, Science Editor of BBC News; Mark England, Team GB’s Director of Sport Services and Chef de Mission for Tokyo 2020 (now rescheduled to 2021); and award-winning journalist and presenter Nadine Dereza.

The flagship event for decarbonisation will take place from Monday, October 19, to Friday, October 23.

The week-long Waterline E-Exhibition will focus on the five “grand challenges” the world faces in tackling climate change – electricity and energy, agriculture, manufacturing and industry, transport, and buildings and people.

The exhibition will provide opportunities for schools, colleges and communities to share ideas and best practice and learn about career choices in the region’s sustainable future.

Each day will include subject-led seminars by industry and academic experts which will provide information and resources to help communities decarbonise. 

The International Business Day will take place on Thursday, October 22, with prominent keynote speakers initiating discussions to inspire transformational projects.

Andy Parkinson, Chair of Marketing Humber, the organisation that promotes the Humber on the national and international stage, said: “The first event last year was a tremendous success that really brought the region together and rallied support for the commitment to achieve a zero-carbon economy.

“It provided an opportunity for organisations across the Humber to share ideas, which led to a number of tangible and deliverable projects. We’ll be sharing the results of these during this year’s summit.

“The pandemic means we won’t be able to physically bring everyone together in the same way we did last year but, working with our partners, we’ve organised a truly interactive digital experience that will enable participants to immerse themselves in the event.

“Climate change is the world’s biggest threat, but it also presents a once in a generation opportunity for our region. It has never been more important for us to work together for this common purpose and seize it.”

The free event is being staged in partnership with Marketing Humber’s network of Bondholder businesses and organisations and is open to everyone.

Climate change is a significant threat to the Humber, as one of the coastal regions around the world officially listed as at high risk due to rising sea levels and increasing flood threat. 

However, it is also the Humber’s biggest opportunity because the region can build on its strong industrial base and existing green credentials to act as a “living lab” where projects are developed and delivered to showcase how waterfront regions across the globe can work towards a clean growth future.

More than 30 organisations will showcase projects and share ideas during the exhibition, including Drax Group, which is working with Equinor and National Grid Ventures to explore how a large-scale carbon capture usage and storage network and a hydrogen production facility can be constructed in the Humber.

Lagoon Hull will also provide an update on ambitious £1.5bn plans to transform Hull’s waterfront, including a non-tidal lagoon, a new outer harbour and enhanced flood defences.

The Waterline Summit attracted more than 1,200 attendees last year and is the headline event of The Waterline campaign, launched by Marketing Humber and the University of Hull to bring together partners from the worlds of industry, academia and research and development to pioneer decarbonisation solutions.

The campaign builds on the Humber’s established reputation as the UK’s Energy Estuary – a brand created by Marketing Humber and adopted by politicians, investors and decision-makers.

  • The Waterline Summit 2020 takes place online from Monday, October 19 to Friday, October 23. 
  • The schedule for the week is as follows:
  • Monday, October 19, 9am-5pm: Adaptation and Resilience Day, sponsored by Yorkshire Energy Park.
  • Tuesday, October 20, 9am-5pm: Clean Growth Day, sponsored by Phillips 66.
  • Wednesday, October 21, 9am-5pm: Nature-Based Solutions Day, sponsored by Bishop Burton College.
  • Thursday, October 22, 9am-5pm: International Business Day, including a national business leaders panel discussion, sponsored by SSE.
  • Friday, October 23, 9am-5pm: Sustainable Financing Day.

The exhibition and debate are free to attend. To register, go to The Waterline Summit website

[John Meehan – Meehan Media & Comms]