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Partnerships for enhanced engagement in research (PEER) SCIENCE
Cycle 3 (2014 Deadline)

Poverty and climate change in Mexico: the implications of mitigation policy, climate impacts, and development pathways for household welfare

PI:  Landy Sanchez (, El Colegio de Mexico
U.S. Partner: Brian O'Neill, National Center for Atmospheric Research
Project Dates: September 2014 to November 2018
2-129 PAA Presentatoin 2016
Landy Sanchez (L) and Ana Escoto (R) present their poster at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Population Association of America (photo courtesy of Dr. Sanchez).
Climate change will impact the Mexican population’s wellbeing over the next decades. There are few worldwide studies that consider the impact of mitigation policy on poverty, and no estimation of corresponding scenarios for Mexico, since integrated analysis of climate impacts and mitigation policy is very novel. In order to design sound development policies, it is imperative to understand the linkages between poverty risks and climate change, as well as quantifying how mitigation targets would diminish or increase such risks in the short and long run. This research study will examine the combined implications of climate impact and mitigation policy for poor households, through their effects on agriculture and energy, addressing limitations of current research. The research team will aim to: (1) enhance the representation of Mexico’s development trends for climate change scenarios, with an updated and detailed survey analysis of demographics, income and consumption of Mexican households over time for iPETS; (2) develop climate and socioeconomic scenarios for Mexico, in a global context; (3) examine the joint consequences of climate impacts and mitigation policy on households: variations in the number of poor households, as food prices respond to impacts on crop productivity and land availability; energy prices impact on poverty headcounts under climate policy; and whether demographic and income transformations might offset food and energy prices effects, under different adaptation and mitigation policies that might alleviate negative consequences on poverty; and (4) foster capacity building for climate and socioeconomic scenario research among researchers and policy makers in Mexico.

The research team in collaboration with the U.S. partner will train, strengthen, and better inform researchers, graduate students, and policy makers on the use of climate and socioeconomic scenarios, fostering their capacity to evaluate the welfare implications of climate policy. In order to achieve this, the project will include different venues for presenting the fundamentals of scenario design using integrated assessment models (IAMs). The project will pay special attention to climate-change implications for households, arising from socioeconomic pathways and demographic heterogeneity. Since the impacts are likely to be uneven, identifying differential effects across household groups would serve as an important input for development of better policies in Mexico, given its large demographic and social inequality. The research project will contribute to USAID’s goal of decreasing vulnerability to poverty. Although Mexico has estimates about mitigation costs for the country, there is no study that evaluates how global climate policy will impact its population, and to what extent future social and economic transformations could balance such effects. This project, with its integrated approach, should help inform Mexican policy makers on mitigation and adaptation policies, and how they can be designed without harming poor household groups.

  Summary of Recent Activities
3-129_Q4 2017Sanchez
Expert meeting on household environmental statistics, Nov 2016 [Photo courtesy of Dr. Sanchez]


During April-June 2018, the project team focused on preparing  publications. The team reviewed and submitted for publication a paper on a new index to approach household electricity consumption. The main contribution of the paper is to offer countries a reliable and straight-forward indicator based on the number of electrical goods and their typical electricity use. Such measures are useful in the absence of energy-use household surveys. The project team has been working on preparing the manuscript of two papers discussing climate change impacts in Mexico. The first manuscript examines impacts on household well being for Mexico, under two socioeconomic pathways, with and without mitigation in the mid-term future (2030- 2050). The team evaluates climate impacts through income and consumption and distinguish their magnitude by household types (rural/urban; large/small), and also explicitly evaluates whether some population groups face double jeopardy from climate change and mitigation efforts, which is one of the goals of the PEER project. The paper seeks to contribute to the discussion on climate change and inequality by evaluating heterogeneous results across households and considering multiple climate-related impacts jointly. Another paper looks into estimating Climate Changes impacts on poverty in Mexico taking into account differences in income sources among households. Using iPETS estimations of expected incomes, as well as food and energy prices under different
climate and socio-economic scenarios, we estimate how household poverty could change. The paper discusses how energy-price increments associated with mitigation policy could impact poverty and who could be most affected, which could help to develop social protection actions to accompanied climate policies.
Technical Research Presentations
1) Presentation at the Seminar on Population Dynamics and Environmental Change. May 11, New York City. Co-sponsored by the Population Council, the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at Columbia University, the CUNY Institute for Demographic Research (CIDR), and the UN Population Division.
2) Presentation at the "Instituto Mexicano de Tecnologia del Agua" (IMTA). A Mexican Federal Government institution. June 29, Cuernavaca, Morelos, México.
Future plans:
During the  remaining time of the project the team will work on completing publications and increasing the visibility of the results among public officials in Mexico. For the latter, the PEER team are   preparing a policy brief discussing the policy implications of our climate change impact analysis. Second, they are making public data sets and methodological guidelines, and third, the second workshop will be hosted by the team with local and federal officials working on climate change adaptation, environmental and poverty policies.
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