The heat is on: building climate resilience and protecting Europe's communities

Just one day after the UN concludes its international climate change conference (COP28) in the United Arab Emirates, Insurance Europe will hold an expert debate in Brussels on climate resilience and adaptation.

With global temperatures in 2023 expected to be the highest on record, the event will discuss how people, academia, businesses, and governments can work together to build resilience and adapt to the impact of climate change. It will also reflect on the outcome of COP28.

Bringing together politicians, academics, industry leaders and EU representatives, the online and in-person event will consider how to assess and manage risk, strengthening resilience and offering protection to people. The debate aims to offer solutions on how best to protect communities most exposed to more severe and regular natural disasters caused by climate change.



Opening remarks

Michaela Koller, director general, Insurance Europe



    • Christos Triantopoulos, deputy minister for the climate crisis & civil protection, Greece
    • Alexandre Florentin, Paris councillor & author of “Paris à 50 degrés”


Panel discussion

    • Alexandre Florentin, Paris councillor & author of “Paris à 50 degrés”
    • Caroline Metz, managing director, economics & resilience, Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo, Canada
    • Michael Szönyi, flood resilience program lead, Zurich Insurance, Switzerland
    • Elena Višnar Malinovská, head of unit, adaptation & resilience to climate change, DG CLIMA, European Commission

Moderator: Nicolas Jeanmart, head of general & personal insurance, Insurance Europe




Closing remarks

Fabienne Zwagemakers, senior policy advisor, Insurance Europe


Networking event (in person)


Alexandre Florentin

Paris councillor & author of “Paris à 50 degrés”

Alexandre is an elected Paris city councillor for 2020-2026. He has conducted cross-party work called "Paris at 50°C" aiming to prepare the city for future heatwaves. In the private sector, Alexandre is the founder and director of the training branch of a company specialised in climate change matters.

Caroline Metz

Managing director, economics & resilience

Intact Centre on Climate Adaptation, University of Waterloo, Canada

Caroline’s work at the Intact Centre focuses on developing guidance and mobilising solutions to reduce risk from climate-related extreme weather hazards — including flooding, wildfire, and extreme heat — for homeowners, communities, and businesses across Canada. She leads the extreme heat file.

She has over 20 years’ experience working with organisations in Canada and the United States in the environment and healthcare sectors. Prior to joining the Intact Centre she held management and consulting roles at Sinai Health, PwC, Deloitte and Environ Corporation.

She is a member of the Public Affairs Advisory Committee for Engineers Canada and a member of the Climate Proof Canada Coalition. She serves on various other committees advancing climate resilience in the country.

Michael Szönyi

Flood resilience program lead

Zurich Insurance, Switzerland

Michael has 15 years of insurance experience and leads Zurich Insurance Group’s flood resilience program, a multi-sector alliance with academia, humanitarian organisations and the private sector, aiming to enhance community flood resilience. The program began in 2012 and was recently for a second phase from 2018-2024 as part of Zurich’s climate resilience strategy. It now operates community programs, knowledge and advocacy, as well as research in over 20 countries globally.

Michael is also responsible for advising the company and all alliance partners on risk insights and risk mitigation strategies as part of the program. A centrepiece is the implementation of a self-developed flood resilience measurement framework and interventions to make vulnerable communities more resilient to flooding. In addition, Michael leads the post-event review function to learn how major natural events turn into humanitarian disasters.

Michael currently has advisory mandates to the United Nations High-Level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters (UN HELP) and to the European Union’s H2020 community resilience project (RESILOC).

Christos Triantopoulos

Deputy minister for the climate crisis & civil protection


Dr Christos Triantopoulos is the Greek deputy minister for climate crisis & civil protection. From 2014 to 2019 he was a research fellow at Greece’s Centre of Planning and Economic Research, specialised in financial system supervision and regulation. He taught economics and fiscal policy at the University of Thessaly, the Technological Educational Institute of the Peloponnese and the National School of Public Administration and Local Government. He was also employed as scientific associate for economic affairs in the Hellenic Parliament and the Hellenic Fiscal Council, advisor in the General Accounting Office of the Ministry of Finance and in the Ministry of Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism.

From 2019 to 2021, he was general secretary of economic policy in the Ministry of Finance. In addition, he was deputy to the Minister of Finance as chairman of the Interministerial Committee on State Aid, whose task is to investigate and resolve state aid issues with a significant impact on the country's economic activity. In 2022–2023 he was chairman of the Audit Committee of the European Central Bank. From August 2021 to May 2023, he served as deputy minister for state aid and natural disaster recovery and chairman of the Government Committee for State Aid, which coordinates and ensures state assistance and natural disaster recovery.


Nicolas Jeanmart is head of Insurance Europe’s personal insurance, general insurance and macroeconomics department. Prior to joining Insurance Europe in 2010, he worked for the European Savings Banks Group, where he held various positions, culminating in four years as head of the banking supervision and economic affairs department. In his earlier career, he provided consultancy and training services, primarily to the financial sector.