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The Waterline Summit 2020 - Event Summary

26 October 2020

The Waterline Summit 2020 - Event Summary


All thirteen sessions held live at this year's Waterline Summit are now available on demand.

Log in to the event platform and visit the Auditorium for full access.


Monday, 19th October – Adaptation and Resilience Day: Sponsored by Yorkshire Energy Park

Strengthening our Capacity to Adapt to a Changing Climate

Participants: Dave Richards, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Hull, Dr Mark Fletcher, Arup Fellow, Director and Global Water Business Leader, Nevil Muncaster, Chief Strategy and Regulation Officer, Yorkshire Water, Jo Barnes, Director, Yorkshire Energy Park, David Gent, CEO, Active Humber.

There is a need to develop a strategic response to climate change through a variety of mechanisms suited to our national circumstances. These include national adaptation strategies and local-level initiatives, such as adaptation plans. The challenge is to translate planning into successful implementation, building on examples of good practices that have emerged to build resilience to flooding, housing, utilities infrastructure, as well as building our energy and power resilience for the future.

“We have everything we need here in the Humber – we have the heritage of carbon-intensive industry, right through to new emerging low-carbon industries.

“There is a need to build momentum and accelerate what we have, and showcase it to the world.” – Dave Richards, Pro-Vice Chancellor, University of Hull

“The region has a key part to play in the UK economy, we can lead the way to be carbon restorative. This resilience provides the perfect platform for the Humber to be a leader and a global example. Working collaboratively is the only way we are going to tackle the challenge of climate change.” – Nevil Muncaster, Chief Strategy and Regulation Office, Yorkshire Water


Earth 2050 & The Culture of Climate Change Debate

Participants: Emma Hardy, MP Hull West & Hessle, Shadow Minister for Further Education, Higher Education, Apprenticeships & Skills, Dr Briony McDonagh, Reader in Historical Geography, Risky Cities Project, Dr Christina Roggatz, Research Fellow, E&EI & Scientific Advisor, The Deep, Kelly Stanford, Artist & Science Communicator, Anthony Gill, Cycling Delivery Manager, Yorkshire Region, British Cycling

Winners of the Earth2050 art competition were announced live by Emma Hardy.

The culture debate explored the effect climate change is having on our region, and how changing behaviours and influencing beliefs can be achieved through culture. We all have a part to play in the Humber’s journey to a net-zero carbon future. Everyone’s actions can make a real difference in this journey and there are lots of exciting community activities and projects you can be involved in. Will you play your part?

"The Waterline campaign has never been more important. Getting involved is the most important. Only through collective action we will facilitate the changes necessary to tackle climate change." – Emma Hardy, MP for Hull West and Hessle

"Children and young people are key drivers to inspire community action and change habits, but we need to give them a way to both be inspired, and to inspire us." - Dr Christina Roggatz, Research Fellow, E&EI & Scientific Advisor, The Deep

"30-40% of the world's population live withing 100km of the sea. Society needs to build resilience on a local, national and global scale. Communities and business must learn to live with water in our increasingly uncertain future." – Dr Briony McDonagh, Reader in Historical Geography, Risky Cities Project


Aura - Adapting and Collaborating in the Humber for a Sustainable Future – Green Innovation Transformation in Practice

Participants: Louise Smith, Director, Aura, Pauline Mitchell, SparkFund Programme Manager, Pip Betts, Flood Innovation Centre Project Manager

The ability to innovate and adapt has never been more important as we seek to build a Net-Zero region to adapt to climate change. The current disruption has given business the opportunity to come up with innovative solutions to build a greener future. In this session we will be celebrating how Humber businesses have been collaborating with Aura and our sister brands to turn their innovative solutions into a reality.

"Low carbon innovation in action can be a small thing leading to much bigger things." - Louise Smith, Director, Aura

“When we discuss low carbon innovation people's minds go to wind turbines and other established methods, but the ways we can reduce carbon is far more broad when we look at an object's inherent carbon. We need to think outside the box away from what we are used to. You may think an idea is too modest, however modest it may seem, come and talk to us.” – Pauline Mitchell, Programme Manager, SparkFund


TUESday, 20th October – CLEAN GROWTH Day: Sponsored by phillips 66

Leading the UK to Net Zero Through Technological Innovation

Participants: Melanie Onn, Deputy Chief Executive, RenewableUK, Dan Sadler, UK Low Carbon Strategy Director, Equinor, Emma Toulson, Lead Stakeholder Advisor, Ørsted UK, Darren Cunningham, Lead Executive UK & GM Humber Refinery, Phillips 66, Martin Haworth, MD, Birch Energy.

Clean and green growth alongside economic growth must go hand in hand with greater protection for our environment. Achieving clean growth, while ensuring affordable energy supply for businesses and consumers, is at the heart of the UK’s Industrial Strategy.  

Significant advances in offshore wind, carbon capture, and the hydrogen economy will enable the UK and our region to lead in the transition to a net-zero carbon economy. 

"We need to find a way to use the clean green electricity from our windfarms to decarbonise industries that are much more difficult, the way we aim to do this is through using our power to produce clean hydrogen.” – Emma Toulson, Ørsted UK

"The Humber has a unique, distinct advantage and should be the first place to demonstrate these innovative concepts on how we decarbonise industry.

“We have a historic opportunity for our region that we need to make sure we grasp.” – Darren Cunningham, Phillips 66

“Equinor are not in the Humber by chance. We believe the Humber offers the best opportunity for the world's first at-scale low carbon economy.” – Dan Sadler, Equinor UK


Student Session Delivered by Ørsted UK

Hosted by Lauren Little, Stakeholder Advisor (Humber)

Orsted, the people behind the world’s most sustainable company are joining us live to explore the question: ‘What is the future of sustainable energy?’. With a strong focus on careers and the people behind this exceptional company, students will learn about the huge projects taking place right here in the Humber region and what it means for them regarding their future careers and opportunities.

"We chose the Humber as a base as it is the closest to our windfarms and allows our teams to get out there safely and quickly. Hornsea 3 and 4, beyond Hornsea 2, the world's largest offshore windfarm, are in development and expected to be even bigger than their predecessors." – Lauren Little


How Hull can become carbon neutral and increase prosperity

Participants: Martin Budd, Climate Change Manager, Hull City Council, Dr Jessica Fox, Flood and Climate Scientist, Hull Flood Risk, Professor Dan Parsons, Director, Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull

The webinar explored the 2030 Carbon Neutral Strategy for Hull covering the eight decarbonisation areas including work the Council is undertaking on energy, the co-benefits of the flood adaptation work and Hull Food Partnership. The webinar also looked at some of the outcomes of the UK Climate Assembly which asked the question what do a representative sample of the UK population think we need to do to be carbon neutral? This was followed by a discussion with those attending the webinar on what we are doing in Hull and what we can do and the applicability of the climate assembly findings to Hull.

"There are opportunities in the city for us to install wind turbines, we need to work on where they can go, how they may work and how they would look. We will also look at urban solar farms to add to the energy mix." - Martin Budd

"Just like climate change, flooding is going to happen. But what we can do is change how much it affects us, by increasing awareness and being prepared."  - Dr Jessica Fox

“We need to test how to best deploy and operate this new technology, which has the potential to decarbonise our residential housing stock across the country, whilst simultaneously addressing fuel poverty through a reduction in heating costs.” - Professor Dan Parsons


Wednesday, 21st October – nature-based SOLUTIONS DAY: Sponsored by BISHOP BURTON COLLEGE

Nature Contributing to Climate Mitigations

Participants: Professor Dan Parsons, Director, Energy and Environment Institute, University of Hull, David Shukman, Science Editor, BBC News, Emma Howard-Boyd, Chair, Environment Agency and UK Commissioner to the Global Commission on Adaptation, Bill Meredith, Principal, Bishop Burton College, Hilary Hamer, Chair, Rooted in Hull project 'Hull a Sustainable Food City’.

Managing the environment better and restoring natural habitats and processes can help to protect people from the effects of climate change. 

Nature can contribute to climate mitigation with conservation, restoration, and/or improved land management actions that increase carbon storage and/or avoid greenhouse gas emissions across global forests, wetlands, grasslands, and agricultural lands. 

"It is important to be careful and quite hard-nosed of how we are judging the impact of climate mitigation schemes, some can in fact be negative in impact, but the majority are positive.

"The question we ask in the news world is how do natural mitigations work in the real world, and in this case the real world this means the political world and how land is used and allocated." – David Shukman

"It is about working with nature, understanding natural processes, and how we as societies can live with those processes, and enhance them for the benefit of all." – Dan Parsons

"Nature based solutions deliver more jobs per dollar, are easier to maintain and are more sustainable than other solutions in the long run."

"If the whole country is to meet net-zero by 2050, some regions and organisations will need to show how it’s done." – Emma Howard-Boyd

"The top 1m of the world's soil contains as much carbon as the entire atmosphere, so it is a big carbon sink. The solution to decarbonisation is under our feet."

"Agriculture contributes 10% of greenhouses gases in the UK, mainly from livestock. We can reduce this significantly through increasing production efficiencies, on-farm carbon storage, and generation of renewable energy.” – Bill Meredith

"Rooted in Hull is a wonderful, small scale pilot project - an urban farm on a 'meanwhile-use site'. We waste 10m tonnes of a food a year, our project looks at the way we use our surplus food and we are getting better at it, but we have a long way to go.” – Hilary Hamer


Student Session with Yorkshire Water

Delivered by Margaret Boyd, Education Adviser

Everyone is responsible for managing water, both when we have too much and when we have too little. 

The Living with Water partnership in Hull and the East Riding are working together and with you, to build communities that live and thrive with water rather than fear it.  Working together we aim to reduce flood risk, build community resilience and improve place. 

Did you know that Hull and the surrounding area has the second highest flood risk in the UK?

The Living with Water session included a recap of the water cycle, a description and explanation of flooding and how the community can be involved in preparing and planning for flooding events. We also discussed how the Living with Water partners are joining forces to reduce the impacts of flood risk and build resilience and how you too can play your part.

“Our future generations should be growing up in a resilient world, one where blue/green natural engineering solutions have become the norm, creating beautiful features that also manage flood risk. A more natural region where we all live with water and thrive for years to come.” - Margaret Boyd


Humber Re-Leaf & The Green Task Force: A carbon forestry approach to mental health

Delivered by Andy Steel, PATT Foundation

An alternative look at carbon capture via nature-based solutions. A project that has the ability to create a revolving financial fund, create employment for veterans and support posttraumatic growth.

"Once the sixth carbon budget is announced, that will create a gold rush and demand to purchase carbon. If you can't reduce and you have to offset, what options do you have? Carbon forestry can be a cost effective alternative, but it is not going to offset entirely. Companies will gain a significant advantage from getting involved in the carbon market early." – Andy Steel


Thursday, 22nd October - International Business Day: Sponsored by SSE Thermal

Why the World Needs the Humber?

Host: Nadine Dereza, Business Presenter

Speakers / Panellists:

Stephen Phipson, CEO, Make UK - Stephen will be focusing on the Clean Growth agenda, championing UK manufacturing in the sustainability sector and the #MakeitGreen campaign which showcases the steps manufacturers are taking to build a sustainable recovery

Mark England, Chef de Mission, Team GB - Mark’s presentation reviews the Adaptation & Resilience agenda from a Team GB perspective, you will be given an insight into how Team GB adapted to the postponement of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Mark is to also be joined by retired swimmer Lizzie Simmonds, who has represented Great Britain in the Olympics, FINA World Aquatics Championships, and European championships, and England in the Commonwealth Games. Lizzie was born in the town of Beverley that sits within the Humber region and is Vice-Chair of Team GB’s Athletes Commission.

Liz Barber, CEO, Kelda Group & Yorkshire Water - What role does Yorkshire Water play in responding to climate change? Liz explains how Yorkshire Water is reducing their own carbon impact and how they are changing their operations to deal with its consequences. Innovative water solutions and the Living with Water initiative will also feature in Liz’s presentation.

Andrew Bailey, Governor, Bank of England - Sustainable finance and leading the change: climate action in the financial sector. Andrew’s presentation will feature the importance of a sustainable financial system and how it can help to amplify the impacts of climate policies and accelerate the transition to a lower carbon economy

"As industry looks to rebuild and grow, this is built on innovation in the UK, we are leaders in innovation. Government has a real focus on the green recovery and a refreshed industrial strategy including exciting technologies in hydrogen and CCUS.

"I would love to see the Humber being one of the key areas as develop clusters of CCUS." - Stephen Phipson

"We must look forward now. We need to emphasis everything we can do to tackle the big risks we face and act early on them.

"There are huge commercial opportunities in climate change and there is a key role for private finance. We have had pretty weak business investment in recent years and weak productivity growth - we need to change that in the recovery in focusing on climate change."

"There is a great demand to invest in supporting climate change." - Andrew Bailey

"We are attracting more sustainable investors, as a consequence of that we are able to access better rates when borrowing money. We're aiming to set up the first true carbon trading platform with landowners in Yorkshire for which we are seeking investment." - Liz Barber


The Waterline Live - International Webinar

The host of The Waterline Live podcast series, Jonathan Levy, brought his climate conversation to your screen with a major webinar of international guests to explore the latest trends in climate change, the global demand for solutions and the resulting opportunities for Humber organisations to respond and export their products, services and expertise around the world. Jonathan explained: “We'll be talking to distinguished international leaders from research, business and government to provide actionable insights into how the Humber can help the world avoid a global climate crisis.”

"I have read the waterline pledge and would sign up and tick every single one of the boxes. We must do them all." - Johannes Cullman

"When you're trying to move to net zero you can't ignore the Humber. There are very ambitious proposals coming forward to transform the Humber's footprint to net zero in the 2030s. The Humber really is at the heart of so much, the global economics of the offshore wind industry have been transformed here." - Graham Stuart MP

"Asia is set to become a leader in offshore wind by 2025. Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Vietnam are looking for companies to fill gaps that they can't domestically and competing for attention. I would encourage people to look beyond China and see Asia as a whole region." - Natalie Black CBE


World Humber One: How the Energy Estuary can lead the way in low-carbon power


Marion Troy, Head of Corporate Affairs, SSE Thermal, David Laister, Business Editor – Humber Business Live, Andrew Percy MP for Brigg and Goole, Grete Tveit, Senior Vice President, Low Carbon Solutions, Equinor ASA, Martin Cook, Business Development Director, National Grid, Steve Scrimshaw, Senior Vice President, Siemens Energy UK & Ireland.

Marion Troy discussed how the Humber can lead the way in low-carbon power generation – if you can do it here you can do it anywhere – and the role of the Keadby Clean Power Hub in achieving this, while ensuring security of supply and stimulating a green recovery in the region. This included a focus on first-of-a-kind technology investments at Keadby 2 and the ambition to deliver the UK’s first power-CCS project at Keadby 3.

"When explained in the context of securing people's jobs and greening people's jobs you get considerable buy-in in tackling climate change and greening our economy.

"The Government understands this will only happen if we have government intervention and support. Not just money, but policy and legislative changes. You have to have buy in across government across all levels." - Andrew Percy MP

"There is no net-zero UK without a net-zero Humber, so this is the natural place to invest in infrastructure to decarbonise." - Marion Troy

FRIDAY 23rd October - Sustainable Finance Day: Sponsored by HSBC UK

Unlocking Capital to Transform Our Industrial Clusters

Industrial clusters have the potential to be a catalyst in scaling up critical technologies like low-carbon hydrogen and decarbonising heavy-industries. Their network effect can facilitate larger-scale activities across low-carbon hydrogen production, distribution and storage, and end-usage through coordination between industries that are geographically in proximity. They can leverage their existing infrastructure, aggregate end-use demand and provide the business-case for larger scale production, all of which can help de-risk projects and facilitate larger capital flows. Attracting private and commercial funding will be important, however, as public funding available covers a fraction of the investment required.

Led by HSBC UK and IP Group, the purpose of this panel session outlined the opportunities for larger-scale hydrogen and CCS projects in clusters as well as financing challenges/opportunities. We heard from 3 key businesses in the region, all with investment projects to transition the Humber industrial cluster to a net-zero carbon future. These businesses will engage in discussion with finance to explore opportunities and address the bottlenecks to financing scale up.

"The Humber is a world leading industrial cluster. It's history, traditions and culture are steeped in industrial expertise and entrepreneurial spirit.

"There is a huge range of opportunities, I'm delighted to see the the progress of Humber Zero, Zero Carbon Humber and H2H Saltend.

"The Humber region has established itself as a real powerhouse as far as energy is concerned. It presents a beacon to many other industrial clusters across the UK." - Kwasi Kwarteng MP

"Drax's change from coal to biomass represents the single biggest decarbonisation project in the whole of Europe, on our doorstep.

"This country cannot reach net zero without BECCS, and Drax can be a big part of that. Drax will put the Humber cluster at the forefront of the country's transition to net zero." - Richard Gwilliam, Drax




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