The Humber today sets out an exciting new vision to be a global leader in decarbonisation, to meet the planet’s greatest challenge. Marketing Humber, the organisation that promotes the region on the national and international stage, has forged a close working relationship with the University of Hull and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) with the ambition to pave the way in combating climate change.
The region is rising to this critical global challenge as one of the coastal regions around the world officially listed as at high risk due to rising sea levels and increasing flood threat.
Because of this, and building on the region’s established green energy credentials, the Humber is an ideal “living lab” to develop projects that showcase how the world, particularly waterfront regions, can work towards a clean growth future.
Working together, Marketing Humber and the University of Hull are launching a powerful long-term campaign, “The Waterline”, aimed at promoting new economic models that demonstrate how decarbonisation can deliver both environmental sustainability and economic growth.
The two organisations will work alongside the Humber LEP and the region’s local authorities to develop long-term thinking on how the Humber makes a transition to a carbon-neutral economy.
This will complement the Humber Local Industrial Strategy being developed by the LEP and partners, which is setting out clear ambitions in the coming months to build on the region’s strengths in green energy.
Marketing Humber also plans to launch a London Humber Ambassadors Club, made of senior politicians, civil servants and industry leaders, with significant links or affinity to the Humber, who will come together to provide the heavyweight clout and influence to support the Local Humber Industrial Strategy and make the vision a reality.
The Waterline and the London Humber Ambassadors Club will be supported by a new structure for Marketing Humber’s powerful network of more than 250 Bondholder businesses and organisations, with Principal Partners committing to support and drive the new vision and strategy.
The campaign builds on the Humber’s reputation as the UK’s Energy Estuary – a brand created by the Bondholders and adopted by politicians, investors and decision-makers. Prime Minister Theresa May referred to the Energy Estuary in her recent speech delivered at global renewables leader Ørsted’s base in Grimsby.
As the UK hub for offshore wind – the fastest-growing element of the UK’s drive to a low-carbon economy – the Humber is already making a significant contribution to a sustainable green energy future.
The University of Hull is working with key players from industry, academia, Government and other key stakeholders to make the region a hotbed of research, talent and innovation in this field, through the Aura partnership. Aura was recently hailed as an exemplar in the Government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal for demonstrating how a region can bring together public and private sectors to deliver both environmental sustainability and economic growth.
The University of Hull also has significant expertise in tackling the increasing flood threat. Scientists from the university are helpingto better predict flood risk in the UK and globally, to build safer communities and protect livelihoods.
Many other major opportunities, including plans by Drax to become the world’s first negative emissions power station, give the Humber outstanding credentials to be a global leader in the critical fight to avoid catastrophic climate impact.
The new Marketing Humber strategy and campaign will be launched this evening to business leaders from across the region at a Marketing Humber Annual Bondholder Ambassador Event at Hull Minster.
Marketing Humber Chair Andy Parkinson said: “There is no bigger challenge facing the planet than climate change and, here in the Humber, we have a unique opportunity to address it. In fact, we have a pressing need to do so, as a coastal region threatened by rising sea levels.
“The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned the world has only a dozen years to keep global warming within a maximum of 1.5C to avoid a devastating impact on low-lying areas, such as the Humber.
“The Humber is making significant progress against carbon targets, particularly how energy is generated. However, we must now focus on the wider impacts of climate change and all businesses should support this campaign and the development of the Industrial Strategy being led by the LEP.
“I believe we are perfectly positioned, due to our geography and the important industrial assets we have in the region. We can genuinely lead the way, showing other areas around the world how to make this transition.
“This is about Marketing Humber working as a collaborative force, bringing together business, the University, the LEP, local authorities and other public sector organisations, because you cannot achieve such significant change without everyone working together.
“The region can become water resilient, while developing transformational projects that can attract global investment funds. This exciting vision will also elevate the region to a new level of economic ambition and global relevance.”
Dr David Richards, Pro Vice Chancellor, Research and Enterprise at the University of Hull, said: “If we all keep living and working the way we do now, our impact on our environment will lead to increasing problems for our families, our homes, our businesses and our entire way of life.
“Our region will be one of the first to experience the impact of rising temperatures and sea levels. The Waterline is of critical importance – it’s up to us to take action to make the transition to a zero-carbon future, whilst at the same time growing our economy. I look forward to working with partners to make this happen.”
The new vision will feed into and support the Humber Industrial Strategy, which is being developed by the Humber LEP and will focus on the region’s future as a leader in clean energy.
Kishor Tailor, Chief Executive of the Humber LEP, said: “This campaign being launched by Marketing Humber supports the vision being developed for the Humber region as a national leader on clean energy. It is fantastic that we are getting support from Marketing Humber to drive this forward.”
Marketing Humber Managing Director Dr Diana Taylor urged the organisation’s network of Bondholder ambassadors to come together behind the new vision.
She said: “This new campaign is hugely exciting and ambitious and we believe the business community and other stakeholders will rally behind it.
“As well as playing our full part in mitigating the impact of climate change, this is a huge economic opportunity to deliver long-term growth for the region.
“We also want to stress that, while raising our ambitions to a global level, we will continue our valuable work developing a positive profile for the region, to stimulate investment, create a thriving economy and attract and retain talent.”