64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

64th ISI World Statistics Congress - Ottawa, Canada

Addressing climate change in population projections: new challenges for demography?

Category: International Association for Official Statistics (IAOS)


Population projections produced by public institutions – be they national, regional, or global – find broad consideration in society. They rely on observed data on population trends and hypothesis concerning the future evolution of society, influencing demographic events. The hypothesis flowing in population scenarios thus have to account for all major societal and environmental developments that may affect the population. In this regard, researchers increasingly highlight the necessity for demographers to more explicitly address the ongoing changes of the natural environment and the world climate when projecting population, by an interdisciplinary approach (Muttarak 2021, Van Dalen and Henkens 2021, Lutz 2017). Whereas climate-scenarios always consider population trends in their hypothesis, today the contrary is not necessarily the case.
This invited paper session wants to bring together experts from demography, climate and public health research in order to discuss the following questions:
1. Where does international demographic research stand in taking into account climate change impact in population projections?
2. To what extent is it pertinent and possible to model evolutions in such highly complex systems – for the world or for specific regions or countries? What can be the role of Shared Socio-Economic Pathways (SSPs) in this context?
3. How can international and national official statistics take into account climate change in their population projections? What is the relevance of this for fact-based policy-making?

The results of this session’s talks and discussions should give orientation to NSOs and other public institutions dealing with population projections.

This session is organised within the framework of the Project Rosling (www.projectrosling.ch), a project launched by the Swiss Confederation to expand the dialogue on data and statistics to stakeholders beyond the data and statistics communities and deepen knowledge. This session will mark the launch of the Workstream on Population Projections and Climate Change. While population development is taken into account in climate scenarios, climate change is not yet included in population projections, although it has already shown implications for human life and migration. As such, this workstream will seek to lead critical discussions on the relevance and possibility of developing climate-sensitive population scenarios for Switzerland and illustrate interactions between different areas of the 2030 Agenda.