CERAC Launch event


The opening session of the event illuminated the critical imperative of fostering resilience and adaptation in the face of climate and environmental changes, accentuating the pivotal role of rigorous risk assessment. Director Bas of Cerac underscored the daunting potential cost of inaction regarding climate and environment, projecting a staggering figure of up to 38 trillion a year by 2050 according to Nature. Minister Khattabi commended the establishment of CERAC, stressing its pivotal role in confronting environmental crises armed with clear knowledge. M. Vandenberghe emphasized the indispensable need for robust leadership in crisis situations to uphold stability and democracy, advocating for a comprehensive, all-risks approach in governance.

The subsequent session delved into the insights of the new EUCRA report, as Ms. Ylä-Mononen meticulously delineated the major climate risks across various policy clusters. Her exposition illuminated the urgent need to address these risks, many of which could escalate to critical or catastrophic severity by the century's end. Ms. Dupont moderated a panel debate on translating these findings for the national level, emphasizing collaboration, localized risk consideration, and the imperative of political courage in communicating risks. Ms. Safrankova pointed out the importance of collaboration through a cross government approach, especially given how some countries are more vulnerable than others Ms. Dewulf stressed the importance of considering risks at local levels, particularly in urban areas vulnerable to climate crises. Ms. Simiu underscored the necessity of developing a reflex for adapting to risks and the political courage required to communicate these truths to the public.

The final session heralded the official launch of CERAC, with Mr. Bas detailing its history, structure, and missions. Mr. Ramaekers emphasized the crucial role of climate adaptation in bolstering health security and advocated for comprehensive risk assessment and management through entities like CERAC. Ms. Brunson presented the pioneering study on planetary boundaries for Belgium. Ms. Madgwick was advocating for considering both "safe" and "just" boundaries with a focus on social justice and equity and pointed out the need for global adoption of CERAC-like initiatives and stressed the importance of integrating equity considerations into climate risk assessments.

Director Bas initiated the concluding panel session by highlighting the imperative of effectively utilizing evaluations produced. Mr. Patrick Dupriez underscored the obligation of social justice amidst the crisis, emphasizing the disproportionate vulnerability of certain segments of society. Mr. Pierre Wunsch stressed the importance of considering the economic costs of mitigation efforts but recognized the necessity to understand cost of inaction. Mr. Gunter Ceuppens emphasized the significance of awareness creation and advocated for unified messaging and collaboration to maximize impact. Lastly, Ms. Valérie Trouet urged for deeper societal integration of scientific insights and lamented the need to reinvest fossil fuel subsidies into climate action.

In closing, Mr. Delgado Rosa cautioned against oversimplifying assessments, emphasizing the scientific basis of policymaking such as the European Green Deal and the indispensable role of high biodiversity in maintaining ecosystems services

Original invitation

Be part of the launch of the Climate and Environment Risk Assessment Center (CERAC), set against the backdrop of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union. This event also highlights and, discusses the critical findings of the European Climate Risk Assessment (EUCRA) report. This is a unique opportunity for stakeholders from Belgium and across Europe to share insights, and drive forward initiatives that anticipate and mitigate climate and environment risks.

Location: Residence Palace, Wetstraat 155, 1040 Brussels


12.00 – 13.00 - Lunch

start live stream

13.00 – 13.30 - Session 1: Introduction

  • Welcome by Luc Bas, Director CERAC
  • Introductory remarks by Zakia Khattabi, Minister of Climate, Environment, Sustainable Development and the Green Deal
  • Keynote address by Director General of DG CLIMA, Kurt Vandenberghe.

13.30 – 15.00 - Session 2: Unveiling key findings of EUCRA

  • Presentation by EEA’s Executive Director, Leena Ylä-Mononen, of the first European Climate Risk Assessment (EUCRA) report by the European Environment Agency.
  • Panel debate with senior government representatives translating findings for the national level.
    • Moderator; Claire Dupont, Research Professor, UGent and Chair of the EEA Scientific Committee
      • Diane Simiu Directrice du climat, de l'efficacité énergétique et de l'air, Ministère Écologie Énergie Territoires, France
      • Barbara Dewulf, Director General of Brussels Environment
      • Nick Mabey, Founding Director E3G & Co-CEO(3rd Generation Environmentalism)
      • Veronika Safrankova, Head of UNEP Brussels
  • Q&A with the audience.

15.15 – 16.00 - Session 3: Launch of the Climate and Environment Risk Assessment Center

  • Introducing the CERAC: Presentation by the Director and a response from Prof. dr. Dirk Ramaekers, Chair of the Federal Public Service Health, Food Chain Safety and Environment.
  • Sharing the key findings of the first study on planetary boundaries applied to Belgium by Aurore Brunson, Senior Expert CERAC.
  • A commentary by Jane Madgwick, Executive Director Global Commons Alliance.

16.00 – 16.45 - Session 4: Panel debate on strengthening Climate and Environmental Resilience

  • A panel discussion with key societal stakeholders on the preparations of the first Belgium Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss Risk Assessment.
    • Moderator; Luc Bas, Director CERAC
      • Patrick Dupriez, President CFDD-FRDO
      • Pierre Wunsch, Governor of the National Bank of Belgium
      • Gunter Ceuppens, Dep.-Director-General Strategic Management, Belgian National Crisis Center, NCCN
      • Valerie Trouet, Scientific Director, Belgium Climate Center
  • Q&A

16.45 to 17.00 - Session 5: Concluding remarks

Concluding remarks by Climate and Environment Risk Assessment Center Director and Director Natural Capital Humberto Delgado Rosa (EU Commission Directorate-General for Environment)

17.00 - ... - Networking Reception