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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 (lsanchez@colmex.mx), 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.


Project results 

The project ended in November 2018 with three main goals accomplished, including: (1) a better understanding of the heterogeneity of household impacts and responses to food and energy constraints; (2) developed national scenarios of climate change impacts; and (3) contribution to building capacity on the study of social implications of climate change. Through research, publications of multiple papers (6 peer-reviewed journal articles, 2 peer-reviewed book chapters) and 21 technical presentations, the project explored how household sociodemographic characteristics shape their response to increments of food and energy prices. Analysis of scenarios allowed the project team to evaluate the impact of climate change in agricultural productivity and its derived effect on consumption and income. Results show negative impacts on population wellbeing for Mexico, more substantial than in most other regions of the world. The detrimental effect on consumption and income, according to the PI, is similar across socioeconomic scenarios, but population groups fare differently, with urban household being the most affected. In the mid-term future (2030-2050), mitigation adds to the negative impacts of climate due to increased energy prices. Urban households experience the largest total losses in food and energy consumption because of their higher intake levels and because of the structure of their consumption: they are mostly food net buyers and still rely heavily on fossil fuels. The results of the research, according to the PI, support the need for developing a social policy to protect households from the effects of climate change and the need to understand the population subgroups that will benefit the most from it.
 
The project strengthened the study and understanding of the social dimension of climate change. First, it fostered the abilities of the Mexican research team, and it contributes to improving the curricula of graduate courses in urban and population studies. Second, it helped to develop research networks among Mexican academics on issues of household environmental behavior and climate change distributive impacts. 

In terms of most recent outreach, the team organized a workshop for local state officials in Puebla, Mexico, in November 2018 to provide training on how to take into account climate change risks on local government plans. Representatives of 18 municipalities attended. Participants’ towns vary in their socioeconomic characteristics and their vulnerability to climate change facing varying challenges and priorities. As a result, the team has agreed to continue working with these municipalities in addressing specific issues (energy, waste, food security, water) in future workshops.

As a direct result of the PEER project, a group of Mexican researchers began to collaborate in studying the social dimensions of climate change, particularly those linked to food security and poverty, and Prof. Sanchez was appointed Chair of the Environment Research Network of the Latin American Association of Population Studies (2018-2020). Now that the project has ended, the team still needs to publish the climate change scenarios results as the manuscripts are being finalized for submission. The PI will keep working on the distributional impacts of climate change by considering a) changes on household structures; b) assessing the effect of higher public transfers and lower inequality between rural and urban settings. For that matter, the PI will employ macro-micro simulation methods, where scenarios results will be combined with household survey data. Datasets and documentation are available at https://climapob.colmex.mx/

Peer reviewed publications and proceedings:
Escoto, A y Sánchez, L “Índice Ponderado de Consumo de Electrodomésticos (IPCE): una propuesta de medición a partir de datos de encuesta en hogares para México” Realidad, Datos y Espacio, Inegi (accepted, forthcoming)
Sánchez Landy y Ana Escoto (2018) Sánchez, “Desigualdades en el consumo energético de los hogares en México” en Lezama (coord) Cambio Climático, ciudad y gestión Ambiental, El Colegio de México, México, D.F
Escoto Castillo, A.; Sánchez Peña, L.(2017) Diffusion of Electricity Consumption Practices in Mexico. Soc. Sci. 2017, 6, 144.
Ana Escoto, Landy Sánchez & Sheila Gachuz. (2017) “Trayectorias Socioeconómicas Compartidas (SSP): una nueva manera de comprender el cambio climático” Revista de Estudios Demográficos y Urbanos, Núm. 96, septiembre-diciembre 2017
Escoto, Ana, Landy Sánchez & Gabriela Pérez. “Hogares y consumo de energía eléctrica en México”, Revista Espinhaço, 2016, 5(2): 30-43
Sánchez Peña, Landy (2016) “Ingresos y consumo energético de los hogares en el Distrito Federal” en: Aguilar, Adrián Guillermo, La Ciudad de México en el Siglo XXI, SECITI- Miguel Ángel Porrúa, D.F.,
Sánchez Peña, Landy (2015) “Sustentabilidad y equidad: reflexiones en torno a la agenda latinoamericana post 2015” R. bras. Est. Pop., Rio de Janeiro, v.32, n.3, p.599-607, set./dez. 2015
Sánchez Peña, Landy (2015) “Integrando la sustentabilidad a las metas de desarrollo”; Coyuntura Demográfica No. 8; México, D.F. p. 81-89 

Journal References:

Escoto Castillo, A.; Sánchez Peña, L.(2017) Diffusion of Electricity Consumption Practices in Mexico. Soc. Sci. 2017, 6, 144.
Ana Escoto, Landy Sánchez & Sheila Gachuz. (2017) “Trayectorias Socioeconómicas Compartidas (SSP):
una nueva manera de comprender el cambio climático” Revista de Estudios Demográficos y Urbanos, Núm. 96, septiembre-diciembre 2017
Escoto, Ana, Landy Sánchez & Gabriela Pérez. “Hogares y consumo de energía eléctrica en México”, Revista Espinhaço, 2016, 5(2): 30-43

Book references and other research outputs:
Sánchez Landy y Ana Escoto (2018) Sánchez, “Desigualdades en el consumo energético de los hogares en México” en Lezama (coord) Cambio Climático, ciudad y gestión Ambiental, El Colegio de México, México, D.F
Sánchez Peña, Landy (2016) “Ingresos y consumo energético de los hogares en el Distrito Federal” en: Aguilar, Adrián Guillermo, La Ciudad de México en el Siglo XXI, SECITI- Miguel Ángel Porrúa, D.F.,Landy Sánchez, Cambio climático y desigualdades emergentes en México, Editorial Post. Animal Politico,
https://www.animalpolitico.com/blogueros-blog-invitado/2018/06/12/cambio-climatico-y-desigualdadesemergentes-en-mexico/
Landy Sánchez, Cambio climático. Informe Desigualdades en México 2018. El Colegio de México-BBVA. Mexico City
 
 
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