Harnessing high-quality data for climate resilience

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CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies 1 Place du Congrès / Congresplein 1000 Brussels

If we are to take a decisive step towards greater climate resilience, then alongside understanding the physical and transition risks posed by climate change we must also design and deploy effective adaptation measures.

High quality data is needed to assess climate risks and build efficient mitigation measures. Such data may either relate to a company itself (e.g. the location of physical assets and suppliers) or to external factors (e.g. natural hazards or climate change data). Conventional tools – including hazard maps, zoning maps, and building codes – rely primarily on historical data. However, as global warming is leading to changes in the frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme climate events, historical data needs to be accompanied by forward-looking data.

The EU has started to draft sustainability standards for corporate reporting. This should over time lead to a consistent set of data to measure and compare sustainability across sectors and countries. In the meantime, a variety of entities are collecting and ‘certifying’ data, which may lead to varying interpretations. Core EU-endorsed data will also remain an evolving area in the foreseeable future – following the adoption of the ‘double materiality’ concept, companies and authorities will need time to familiarise themselves with the use of financial and non-financial data.

Collaboration between public and private entities is equally important for introducing open-source data standards, creating risk data inventory databases, as well as to incentivise the private sector to invest in disaster risk reduction projects. As global experience demonstrates (e.g. the Insurance Development Forum), the expertise of the private sector (e.g. open-source risk modelling platforms and data standards) can support governments by improving their understanding of natural hazards and disaster risks, as well as assisting them to quantify the data collected.

Can data help identify potential climate risks – and if yes how? In which ways can data assist policymakers in developing strategies to build climate resilience? What role data can play in closing the protection gap through better risk management and risk sharing? How can academic research and science-based knowledge be converted into preventive action and responsible behaviour?


8:45 - 9:00 - Registration and breakfast

9:00 -10:15 - Panel debate


  • Elina Bardram, Director of Adaptation and Resilience, Communication and Civil Society Relations, DG CLIMA, European Commission
  • Alison Martin, CEO EMEA and Bank Distribution, Zurich Insurance Group
  • Michael Gloor, CEO and Co-Founder, Correntics
  • Swenja Surminski, Managing Director, Climate and Sustainability, Marsh McLennan; and Professor in Practice, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Luis Tejero Encinas, Coordinator of adaptation to climate change programs, Madrid City Council

Moderated by Karel Lannoo, CEO of CEPS and General Manager of ECMI

This seminar is co-organised with Zurich Insurance Group.