Why the Humber

Why the world needs the Humber

The challenges and opportunities presented by zero-carbon targets

4 min read

In 2018 an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was published, warning that the world has 12 years to change direction and limit the onset of climate change. The United Nations body warned that flooding, storms, extreme temperatures, drought, and consequently huge numbers of climate refugees, lay just beyond the horizon if current trends were not reversed.

The Humber is globally known as the UK’s Energy Estuary. The Humber:

  • Produces a third of UK’s refined fuel and 1/6 of the UK’s electricity
  • Is home to two of the UK’s main oil refineries
  • Is the UK’s second largest chemical cluster
  • Is home to the Ports of Hull, Goole, Grimsby, and Immingham
  • Is the highest carbon emitting area in the UK. That, of course, is linked to its geography.

It is located on a large estuary, navigable for the largest deep-sea vessels, with all the aforementioned ports, as well as a massive industrial and manufacturing heritage, which was mainly powered by coal and the burning of fossil fuels.

Historically, the Humber was one of the biggest ports and industrial centres in the world. 60% of the world’s population live in estuary or port regions and two thirds of the world’s largest cities are there too. Estuaries and ports, industrial clusters such as the Humber, must be part of the solution for climate warming and the transition towards net zero carbon. This transition is happening now.

The Humber produces a high proportion of the UK’s energy and is home to much of the UK's hard to abate industries. With all this, on top of the huge volume of homes and the UK’s busiest ports complex, decarbonising the Humber industrial cluster is certainly a challenge, but one we are rising to.

A once in a generation opportunity

This challenge also presents a once in a generation opportunity for the region to transform its economy. With rapid advances in technology and scale of ambition, the Humber now has a roadmap to achieve net zero. These advances include e.g. the Drax power station now running on biomass and the Humber having the world’s largest offshore wind farms right off its coastline. Integration of these renewable energy generation solutions, alongside pan-regional carbon capture and fuel switching technologies, this carbon intensive region is transitioning to a new economic model. In collaboration with many partners, we present here an ever-growing set of investable projects that will propel the Humber into a net-zero carbon position.

The region provides the perfect industrial cluster to demonstrate multiple solutions to the climate change challenge, and this provides inward investment opportunities. The ‘green’ knowledge and expertise developed here also presents a global export opportunity, as the benefits can be replicated around the world.

The World Needs The Humber

Back to Investment Globe Invest Humber globe