The Waterline Summit 2022

11 November 2022

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Did we attend The Waterline Summit 2022? Oh Yes!

The Oh Yes! Net Zero team were delighted to attend and sponsor the annual Waterline Summit event held in October, where businesses of all sizes came together with experts from around the world to discuss the biggest challenge of our time: our journey to net zero.

The Waterline Summit is the largest decarbonisation event in the North of England and the scale of this was reflected in both the quality and quantity of industry experts in attendance. Over just three days, Marketing Humber and the University of Hull delivered 11 events for hundreds of attendees at the Aura Innovation Centre, and it all began with an exciting launch event. The Launch was hosted by Louise Minchin and the panel included Professor Dave Petley (Vice Chancellor at the University of Hull), Cathy Yitong Li (OneStepGreener Ambassador at COP26), Chris Huhne (former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change), Jenny Sutcliffe (Principal Consultant in Regulatory Affairs at Phillips 66), and Mark Goldstone (Head of Regional Policy at CBI).

The summit gave guests an insight into our current net zero position as a union. Although, whilst net zero initiatives and commitments exist, Cathy Yitong Li emphasised that

“We’re not moving as fast as climate change,”

and highlighted that simply wanting change is no longer enough, and we all need to take action now. As former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne also added that

We need to move as a society…the Humber is a key part of the net zero future.”

The summit also focussed on the crucial part young people can play in sharing the message and driving positive change. Chris Huhne reiterated this by saying

“The role of young people is so important. There is a real role for young people for talking through the issues with their parents and grandparents – in sensitising older generations on how important this is.”

Professor Dave Petley also spoke of young people’s interest in climate change and their personal investment in achieving net zero, with an emphasis on how quickly climate change is evolving and how extreme and volatile its impacts are. He shared his passion about the University’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2027 and their ambition to lead the sector. They have set ambitious targets to drive the change that needs to happen now, but he was clear that this is about everyone playing their part, however small.

“There needs to be a message of hope, that everyone can do something to move us in the right direction. The solution to the problem is lots and lots of solutions. There is no effort too small.”

Finally, the panel discussed the obstacles in which organisations face in their efforts to reach net zero. Everyone agreed that we now no longer question whether we should change, but rather we focus on how we can change, in every way, to protect our future.

The Waterline Summit articulated that the world’s biggest threat is Hull and the Humber’s biggest opportunity – and we couldn’t agree more.

If you are yet to embark on your net zero journey or would like to receive support from experts and other local organisations, please sign up to our Oh Yes! Net Zero campaign and become a part of something special.

Remember, everyone and everything counts, no matter how big or small – let’s do this together.

To read and hear more from all of the events at The Waterline Summit 2022, click here to visit their website.