The big opportunities for the Humber in the drive to net zero will be a key theme of the region’s flagship The Waterline Summit this year, with organisers underlining its timely launch.
News of the return comes just weeks after an unprecedented heat wave saw temperatures in the UK exceed 40 degrees Celsius for the first time on record, putting the climate crisis in stark focus. Several fire services declared major incidents after a surge in blazes and rail services were cancelled after tracks overheated or buckled and overhead cables failed. The fire service in London faced its busiest day since the Second World War.
The event – described as the largest and most important of its kind in the North of England – will unite businesses, public sector organisations, academic institutions and communities in the single biggest challenge the world faces, brought together in partnership between Marketing Humber and University of Hull. It will focus on the positive action taking place across the region.
Bill Walker, chair of Marketing Humber, said: “The climate emergency is very real and it’s here now, as recent events have shown. It’s everyone’s responsibility to act now to protect our precious planet for future generations. There can be no delay. That’s why The Waterline Summit 2022 will explore the positive action taking place across the region in our drive to a net zero economy.
“It will also shine a light on the big opportunities for the Humber, with so many innovative decarbonisation projects and developments taking place as we lead the race to become carbon neutral. There will undoubtedly be a global market for coastal and estuarial regions like ours to help others across the world reduce carbon emissions. It’s essential the Humber capitalises on this huge economic opportunity.”
The summit will be held at Aura Innovation Centre on Bridgehead Business Park, Hessle, over three days, from Monday, October 17. It will feature in-person discussion panels, presentations, exhibitions and networking opportunities, all focused on accelerating action to tackle climate change. The launch will be hosted by renowned television presenter and broadcast journalist Louise Minchin, who also opened the summit last year.
High-profile speakers will include Team GB’s three-time Olympic champion Ed Clancy OBE, the most successful team pursuit cyclist in history, who will give an inspirational talk to students from across the region.
The University of Hull outlined its ambitious plan to become carbon neutral by 2027 at the first Waterline Summit in 2019. It announced a range of measures, including a transition to renewable sources of energy to power the campus and reducing energy usage through optimising its estate and campus infrastructure.
Dr Dave Richards, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) at the University of Hull, said: “We’re delighted to be co-hosting The Waterline Summit 2022, in partnership with Marketing Humber, which will focus on the journey we’re all on to achieve our ambitious goals and the progress we’ve made so far.
“The summit will bring together businesses, academia and communities as we all work together towards the shared goal of a net zero future for all. As a leading stakeholder and civic university in the Humber region, we know we have an important role to play in this transition. Reaching net zero is a must and it’s a challenge we’re rising to, as The Waterline Summit will show, but there’s much more to do.”
The Waterline Summit 2022 is supported by event partner, energy company Phillips 66. Arup and Drax are sponsoring the Adaptation and Resilience Day and Energy Transition Day respectively - days two and three - while innovation consultancy Edenic Group and offshore wind global leader Orsted are Waterline Hackathon sponsors. The Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign is the networking sponsor.
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The winners of The Waterline Student Sustainability Challenge 2022, which encourages youngsters aged 11 to 18 to plan and deliver their own eco projects, will also be announced at the summit, having recently been shortlisted.
Key contributions to last year’s summit - including the powerful film Eyes on the Humber, documenting the vital role the region has in the climate change challenge -were taken to world leaders at the United Nations’ COP26 conference in Glasgow. Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng and Governor of the Bank of England, Andrew Bailey, have also previously addressed it.
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