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High-profile speakers to headline The Waterline Summit 2021



A green energy entrepreneur and an electric vehicle adventurer will be among the headline speakers this year’s pioneering The Waterline Summit.

The flagship event is returning next month, bigger and more ambitious than before, linking the Humber to the global COP26 climate change conference.

Held from October 18-22, just a few weeks before COP26, the summit will link innovative decarbonisation projects and pioneering work taking place to tackle climate change across the Humber region to similar efforts worldwide.

It will feature prominent speakers including entrepreneur Dale Vince OBE and endurance explorer Chris Ramsey.

Dale Vince is famed for founding Ecotricity, the world’s first company to sell green energy. 

He is also known for his role as Chairman of Forrest Green Rovers FC, which is recognised as the world’s first carbon-neutral football club. Forrest Green has an all-vegan team, only sells vegetarian and sustainable food options at matches, and has a strip made from recycled plastic and coffee grounds. 

Chris Ramsey is widely regarded as a pioneer of electric and sustainable expeditions and is known for pushing the technology to its limits.

His expeditions, spanning more than 28 countries, have helped inspire people to adopt more sustainable lifestyles and his latest adventure in December 2022 will see him cross the Atlantic as he drives from Pole to Pole in an electric car.

More high-profile speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

Organised by Marketing Humber, The Waterline Summit will be a hybrid of in-person panel discussions and events and immersive virtual experiences.

Several contributors will also be attending COP26, the globally critical 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, being held in Glasgow in November. 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 link the region to the international event through an online platform, providing resources, podcasts, interviews and streamed events from COP26.

Dr Diana Taylor, Managing Director of Marketing Humber, said: “We are incredibly excited by the programme of events and guest speakers for The Waterline Summit 2021.

“Taking place just weeks before COP26, this presents a unique opportunity to position the Humber at the centre of the global climate change challenge. I would urge everyone who has not already done so to register their place for what promises to be our biggest and most important summit yet.”

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.

It will feature themed days throughout the week, including Energy Transition Day, sponsored by Humber Zero; Clean Road Transport Day, sponsored by Phillips 66; Adaptation, Resilience and Nature Day, sponsored by Living With Water; and Cities and Built Environment Day, sponsored by Hull City Council.

Two years ago Marketing Humber launched The Waterline campaign, in partnership with the University of Hull, to unite businesses, communities, academics and students to drive the race to net zero.

The campaign makes the case for the Humber, as the UK’s Energy Estuary, becoming a “living lab” for the journey towards a zero-carbon economy.

This year, children and young people across the Humber aged between 11-18 are invited to make a difference by planning and delivering their own eco-project for The Waterline Student Challenge 2021, sponsored by SSE Thermal.

The overall winners will be announced on the launch day of The Waterline Summit.

  • The Waterline Summit 2021 will run from October 18-22. To find out more, or register your place, visit
  • Marketing Humber will also connect the Humber to COP26 throughout the international event taking place from November 1-12 via the digital platform  

The Waterline Summit 2021 – Themed days

Energy Transition Day: Tuesday, October 19, sponsored by Humber Zero

Energy Transition Day will focus on the global transition to clean power and the importance this sector has on the journey to net zero.

It is sponsored by Humber Zero, the large-scale decarbonisation project to remove up to eight million tonnes of CO2 from the Immingham industrial site per year by 2030, backed by partners including VPI Immingham, Phillips 66, Equinor and GE.

Jonathan Briggs, VPI Immingham’s Project Director for Humber Zero, said: “The Waterline Summit provides an ideal opportunity to promote Humber Zero and we are pleased to be involved.

“The Humber region is responsible for 40% of the nation’s industrial carbon emissions and will play a key role in the Government’s net zero target.

“Our project, in which VPI is a partner with the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery, has received funding from UKRI (UK Research and Innovation), allowing it to progress to the Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) stage.”

Clean Road Transport Day: Wednesday, October 20, sponsored by Phillips 66

Clean Road Transport Day will shine a light on global emissions caused by road transport and the commitments and actions needed to accelerate the global transition to clean travel.

It is sponsored by diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company Phillips 66. The Phillips 66 Humber Refinery is a major player behind the Humber Zero carbon capture and storage and hydrogen production project.

Darren Cunningham, General Manager of the Humber Refinery General and Phillips 66 Director, said: “The Humber will play a crucial role if the nation is to hit its net zero carbon target by 2050 and Phillips 66 is focused on playing a leading role.

“We are transforming into a refinery of the future, producing low carbon fuels and speciality coke used in electric vehicle batteries to put us at the forefront of the Government’s Green Industrial Revolution strategy.

“The Waterline Summit is an opportunity to tell our story – and that of the wider Humber – to a global audience. We are looking forward to playing our part.”

Adaptation, Resilience and Nature Day: Thursday, October 21, sponsored by Living With Water

Adaptation, Resilience and Nature Day will explore solutions to be more resilient against the impacts of climate change on the environment, business and society.

It is sponsored by Living With Water, the partnership between Yorkshire Water, Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Environment Agency and the University of Hull.

Lee Pitcher, General Manager for Living with Water and Head of Partnerships at Yorkshire Water, said: “Living with Water are thrilled to sponsor the Adaptation, Resilience and Nature Day at the Waterline Summit.

“With the effects of climate change being felt around the world, we must look to how we learn to live with water rather than fearing it. During this important day, we hope to showcase the investment we are making to the region in managing water in a more natural and sustainable way.

“Using our new Living with Water Community Hub, based at Wilberforce College, we hope to invite people along for interactive sessions and community workshops and share why Hull is leading the way globally in innovative blue green solutions to flood risk.”

Cities and Built Environment Day: Friday, October 22, sponsored by Hull City Council

Cities and Built Environment Day will look at how the Humber can work collaboratively to ensure development and regeneration is smart, sustainable and contributes to the UK’s economic growth.

It is sponsored by Hull City Council, which declared a Climate Emergency in March 2019 and has outlined key themes which require focused action, including power, heat, mobility and consumption, in its Hull 2030 Carbon Neutral Strategy.

Martin Budd, Climate Change Manager for the council, said: “Hull City Council is pleased to be sponsoring the City and Built Environment Day at The Waterline Summit, at a time when the decisions we make today to meet our 2030 carbon neutral and future net zero targets will have such far-reaching impacts for our city.

“The role of placemaking for a net zero future is integral to the work of the council and the summit provides the opportunity for us to collectively map out the step change required to achieve our ambitions. 

“With the majority of the world’s population living in cities, Hull has the opportunity to demonstrate how cities can look in a climate-changed world.”

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