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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 the first three months of 2018, the PEER team was working on finalizing estimations of climate change impacts for Mexico within the global IPETs framework. After re-calibrating the model, the team re-estimated results for the four scenarios: two Shared-Socioeconomic Pathways (SSP3 and SSP5) under two different climate projections (RCP 8.5 and RCP 4.5).  Climate Change impacts agriculture productivity negatively and, as a consequence, increases food price and consumption. Such effects are among the largest in other regions of the world. C02 fertilization diminishes negative impacts, but Mexico does not benefit from fertilization as much as other regions. Mitigation lessens such negative effects, but they remained high given carbon-taxes implications for energy prices and consumption. Adverse impacts are more substantial under SSP3 than SSP5, the former is a socioeconomic pathway with low-investment in education, higher inequalities, regional rivalries and week global institutions. The team is  finding small differences between household types, but urban household are more affected than rural once given their consumption; in fact, urban household will be more impacted by carbon taxes due to their larger energy demand. These novel results could help to develop better adaptation policies.

Based on the refined scenario analysis, the team is  working on a second paper to assess climate change impact on poverty.  

Future plans:
- Prepare a policy brief presenting project's results and discuss implications for social policies, specifically to examine to what extent current anti-poverty (federal) programs cover climate change risks and how scenario results could inform those actions.
- Post online the climate change scenarios methodology and PEER's results; develop audio and video materials

  -  Host a workshop with local and federal officials, as well as NGOs, working on climate change adaptation, environmental and poverty policies


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