Projecting Population, Projecting Climate Change: Population in IPCC Scenarios

Malea Hoepf Young, Kathleen Mogelgaard and Karen Hardee

Population Action International’s latest working paper, Projecting Population, Projecting Climate Change: Population in IPCC Scenarios, shows that population growth is not adequately accounted for in the emissions scenarios produced by the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). This is the second in a three part series that explores role of population dynamics in climate change mitigation and adaptation. This working paper:

  • Explains the population projections used in scenarios of emissions growth
  • Examines the assumptions about fertility, mortality and migration that are built into the population projections
  • Shows that the SRES likely underestimates demographic impacts on emissions growth
  • Highlights the need to incorporate a more nuanced understanding of population size, age structure, household size, and urbanization into climate change scenarios that provide the basis for policy decision-making and strategy development for climate change mitigation and adaptation