The Waterline Summit is returning as an even bigger and more ambitious event, linking the Humber to the globally critical COP26 climate change conference.
The flagship summit – the largest and most important of its kind in the North of England – will position the Humber as central to the global climate challenge facing world leaders.
It will feature the businesses, academic institutions, public sector and community groups leading the drive to a zero-carbon economy across the region.
Held over five days from October 18-22, just weeks before COP26, The Waterline Summit 2021 will link innovative decarbonisation projects and pioneering work taking place to tackle climate change in the Humber to similar efforts across the world.
COP26 is the 26th United Nations climate change conference, being held in Glasgow in November. Every country in the world will be represented at the event, with US president Joe Biden expected to attend to mark America’s return to the Paris Agreement committing nations to work together to limit global warming.
The legally binding Paris Agreement on climate change was adopted by all 196 parties at COP21 in 2015 and progress against the targets it set will be addressed at COP26.
Organised by Marketing Humber, The Waterline Summit will be a hybrid of in-person panel discussions and events and immersive virtual experiences over the course of five days.
Contributors will also be attending COP26, taking the key messages from the pioneering event to Glasgow, where they will tell the international audience about the crucial role the region has to play as the UK’s biggest carbon emitter with the greatest decarbonisation potential.
Marketing Humber will also be linking the region to the international event through an online platform, providing resources, podcasts, interviews and streamed events from COP26.
The Waterline Summit is supported by its event partners the University of Hull, Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Energy Park and Ørsted, as well as its COP26 partner, Zero Carbon Humber.
Bill Walker (left), chairman of Marketing Humber, said: “I am delighted to welcome the University of Hull, Yorkshire Water, Yorkshire Energy Park and Ørsted as The Waterline Summit 2021 event partners. With the UK playing such an important global host role this year, I also welcome Zero Carbon Humber as our Waterline COP26 partner.
“The Waterline campaign has sparked commitment and ambition across the Humber to transform threat into opportunity. This has created a fantastic platform to recognise, network and promote the excellence in decarbonisation, renewables and environmental resilience in the UK’s biggest carbon-generating region.
“There is no equivocation – reaching net-zero for the Humber is a necessity for our communities and for the UK as a whole. There is also no hesitation – decarbonising the Humber is a challenge to which we are already rising.
“Thanks to the support of our event partners, our Waterline COP26 partner, and many more sponsors still to be announced, this year’s Waterline Summit will illustrate the challenges and the resilience of this region and showcase the spirit of the Humber and the global importance of our research, innovation and expertise.
“Once again, through the Waterline Summit, the eyes of the world will be on the Humber.”
Marketing Humber launched The Waterline campaign in 2019, in partnership with the University of Hull, to unite businesses, communities, academics and students in a collaboration to build momentum for change and drive the race to net zero.
Professor Dan Parsons, director at the Energy and Environment Institute at the university, said: “Collaboration and innovation are key in the transition to a carbon net-zero future and events like The Waterline Summit are vital to ensure our region’s businesses and industries are connected in our endeavours across the Humber.
“The world around us is changing. Countries and regions are now driving forwards with efforts to reduce carbon emissions and find clean, renewable ways to power businesses and homes alike. The Humber is at the forefront of this push and has already established itself as a world leader in a range of renewable technologies.
“Now we must build on the incredible foundations we have already laid in the Humber and ensure momentum towards net zero continues to gather pace.”
Yorkshire Water is investing £23 million over five years through its Living With Water project into exploring a sustainable approach to water management across Hull and the East Riding.
Lee Pitcher (right), head of partnerships for Yorkshire Water and general manager of Living With Water, said: “Having a platform like The Waterline Summit not only highlights the important role the region can play on a local and global scale to tackle climate change, but also showcases the collaborative work we are doing here that leads the way in flood mitigation.
“We are thrilled to partner this event again and look forward to sharing more about the work we are doing to build resilience across the region.”
Andrew Reynolds, project director of the £200 million Yorkshire Energy Park, close to the Port of Hull, said: “Now is a crucial time to cement the Humber’s position as the UK Energy Estuary and The Waterline Summit will once again put the region on the map, helping us bring international investment to the area, as well as job creation across a variety of clean growth sectors.
“As a key partner in the Humber Freeport, our vision is to create a next generation, carbon neutral business park that plays a huge role in revitalising our regional economy and generating valuable community impact. We’re delighted to be involved in the event this year as we count down to COP26.”
World-leading green energy company Ørsted operates the world’s largest offshore wind farm, Hornsea One.
Duncan Clark, head of region UK for Ørsted, said: “The Waterline Summit is the main event in the region, bringing stakeholders together as we transition the Humber to a net-zero future.
“This year, with the strong commitment from the government and the eyes of the world on the UK when we host COP26 in November, this event will have a crucial role as a forum and platform to showcase how the Humber will help deliver the UK’s net zero commitments.”
Zero Carbon Humber is a consortium of leading energy and industrial companies and academic institutions working together towards the Humber becoming the first net-zero carbon cluster by 2040.
Alex Grant, UK country manager for consortium member Equinor, said: “As a flagship decarbonisation project for the Humber and the UK, Zero Carbon Humber is delighted to be the official COP26 partner for The Waterline Summit 2021.
“Our ambition to decarbonise the UK’s largest industrial region in terms of CO2 emissions. through a diverse portfolio of power and industry projects including carbon capture, hydrogen and negative emissions, demonstrates the strength of the UK’s offering in this space and the opportunities that The Waterline Summit can showcase.
“We look forward to engaging in positive, constructive discussions with key stakeholders across The Waterline week and using it as a platform to support those bold ambitions.”
Sponsorship opportunities for The Waterline Summit 2021 remain available. For more information, contact Leahann.Barnes@marketinghumber.com