Assessing populations exposed to climate change: a focus on Africa in a global context

Ghio, D., Goujon, A. ORCID:, Natale, F., Alfredo, A., & Petroliagkis, T. (2023). Assessing populations exposed to climate change: a focus on Africa in a global context. Population and Environment 45 (4) e28. 10.1007/s11111-023-00439-y.

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The recent debate on population dynamics and climate change has highlighted the importance of assessing and quantifying disparities in populations’ vulnerability and adopting a forward-looking manner when considering the potential impacts of climate change on different communities and regions. In this article, we overlay demographic projections based on the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and climate change projections derived from the Representative Concentration Pathways. We focus on populations that are likely to be the most exposed to climate change in the future, namely, African populations in a comparative global context. First, we estimate the share of populations living in rural areas, who would be more dependent on agriculture, as one of the economic sectors mostly affected by climate change. Second, we explore how climate change would worsen the condition of populations living below the poverty line. Finally, we account for low levels of education, as further factors limiting people’s adaptation ability to increasingly adverse climate circumstances. Our contribution to the literature on population, agriculture, and environmental change is twofold. Firstly, by mapping the potential populations exposed to climate change, in terms of declining agricultural yields, we identify vulnerable areas, allowing for the development of targeted strategies and interventions to mitigate the impacts, ensure resilience, and protect the population living in the most affected areas. Secondly, we assess differentials in the vulnerability of local populations, showing how African regions would become among one of the most exposed to climate change by the end of the century. The findings support the targeting of policy measures to prevent increased vulnerability among already disadvantaged populations.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Population and Just Societies (POPJUS)
Population and Just Societies (POPJUS) > Multidimensional Demographic Modeling (MDM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2023 08:02
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2023 08:02

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