The Humber has a unique opportunity to proposer from a green energy revolution by unlocking significant investment and creating thousands of skilled jobs, a prominent business leader has said ahead of an innovative climate change summit.
The Waterline Summit 2020 launches today, bringing together businesses, community groups, colleges and schools to position the region at the forefront of the global transition to a zero-carbon future.
The week-long event will highlight how climate change is a significant threat to the Humber, as a waterfront region, but is also its greatest opportunity because it can build on its strong industrial base and existing credentials to attract investment and create jobs in a green growth economy.
Marketing Humber is staging the free event online, due to Covid-19 restrictions, and registration is open throughout the whole week. The immersive digital summit will feature leading names from the fields of media, business and finance, as well as sustainability experts.
Henri Murison, Director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, said: “Investing in sustainable energies in the Humber is critical to spearheading a green recovery here in the North.
“As well as bringing us closer to net zero, we can reskill and retrain thousands of workers into more secure, better-paid, skilled jobs in these sectors.
“The successful Siemens factory in Hull serves as a prime example of how the North can play a leading role in a green energy revolution for years to come.
“As well as building dramatically more offshore wind turbines, we need to recognise the importance of wider decarbonisation developments such as hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.”
Chaired by former Chancellor George Osborne, the business-led Northern Powerhouse Partnership influences policy and encourages private and public sector leaders and organisations to work together to drive investment and prosperity across the North.
Mr Murison said the Humber already had a strong basis to establish itself as a world leader in the growing green economy.
He added: “In June, Drax revealed its plans to build a world-leading carbon capture and storage pipeline through the Humber – a landmark moment in the UK’s path to decarbonisation and tackling climate change. Projects such as these put the North on the map.”
Held in partnership with the University of Hull and Yorkshire Water, The Waterline Summit will build on the growing momentum across the estuary to embrace pioneering technologies, attract investment and create jobs in a green economy.
It 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 summit features a virtual conference centre, including a lobby, networking lounge, exhibition hall and auditorium, hosted on the vFairs platform. It will be a fully immersive experience, with attendees able to browse exhibition stands, engage with exhibitors, network using the live chat function and attend talks and panel discussions.
High-profile speakers 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 business journalist and presenter Nadine Dereza. There will also be a special address from Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister for Business, Energy and Clean Growth.
Schools, colleges and communities will have opportunities throughout the week to share ideas and best practice, as well as learn about current and future career paths opened up by the region embracing a sustainable future.
The Waterline Summit 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 Waterline Summit 2020 takes place from today, to Friday. The schedule for the week is as follows:
• Today, 9am-5pm: Adaptation and Resilience Day, sponsored by Yorkshire Energy Park.
• Tuesday, 9am-5pm: Clean Growth Day, sponsored by Phillips 66.
• Wednesday, 9am-5pm: Nature-Based Solutions Day, sponsored by Bishop Burton College.
• Thursday, 9am-5pm: International Business Day, including a national business leaders panel discussion, sponsored by SSE Thermal.
• Friday, 9am-12pm: Sustainable Financing Day, sponsored by HSBC UK.
The summit is open to everyone and free to take part in. To register for any part of the summit and see full event details, go to The Waterline 2020 Summit.