29th November 2019
The Waterline Summit showcased the many years in which the region is responded to the climate crisis.
The pioneering event aimed to illustrate how the world’s greatest threat is also the Humber’s biggest economic opportunity. It included an interactive exhibition, seminars and live debate, encouraging businesses, secondary schools, colleges and the community to learn more about working towards a zero carbon economy.
Staged by Marketing Humber, with event partner Yorkshire Water, The Waterline Summit drew over 1200 people, including more than 450 secondary school and college students, to Hull’s Bonus Arena.
The event gave further impetus to The Waterline campaign, launched by Marketing Humber and the University of Hull, which brings together partners from the worlds of business, academia and research and development to develop decarbonisation solutions.
A “living lab” was the centrepiece of The Waterline Exhibition and enabled visitors to immerse themselves in the rising levels of water across the globe, learning more about the projects to build flood resilience.
The Waterline Stand, designed to mirror a house on stilts, showcased the collaborative work of Marketing Humber, Yorkshire Water and the University of Hull. This included Living with Water, a partnership between the Environment Agency, Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Yorkshire Water to make Hull and the East Riding more resilient to flooding.
Lee Pitcher, Head of Resilience for Yorkshire Water and General Manager for the Living with Water project, said working together is critical to tackling climate change, with everyone playing their own part in the wider challenge.
He said: “I couldn’t be more thrilled with The Waterline Summit in terms of how big it has become and we also had almost 500 passionate children around us, which is really important and exciting.
“David Attenborough recently said there is no greater threat to the existence of the human race than that which is facing this current generation.
“It is the future generation we need to involve, harnessing their passion, energy and ambition to transform this challenge into an opportunity.”
Kelsie Jones, 17, is a Year 12 A-level student at Wilberforce College in Hull and said she found The Waterline Summit thought-provoking and interesting.
She said: “Climate change is a worry because it is increasing massively and it affects everyone’s future. Turning off electricity when it isn’t needed, reducing the amount of water we use and meat-free days could help. Events like The Waterline Summit are a good idea because they raise awareness.”
Geography student Yasmin McCafferty, 16, is also in Year 12 at Wilberforce College and attended the exhibition.
She said: “A lot more people attended the summit than I expected, which is good because it’s important for our future. We need to make people more aware of what is happening in the world and the consequences.”
Bishop Burton College student Teagen Emmerson, 16, added: “Plastic and not recycling properly is a major problem. Before I came to the summit, I didn’t know which recycling bins to use at home. If more people Googled that, it would make a difference.
“I was excited to attend and I found it really interesting. Young people need to be aware of climate change and how they can help.”