Research Topic

Population, Environmental Risks and Climate Change (PERCC)

Photo Credit: Sajeda Amin

The Population Council’s Population, Environmental Risk and Climate Change (PERCC) initiative is a multidisciplinary research effort to understand how climate change affects demographic trends and its impact on vulnerable populations.  With a research agenda at the intersection of population and climate change, the Council brings new perspectives, data, methodologies, and tools to better understand the many facets of adaptation, resilience, and mitigation. 

Evidence shows that the frequency and intensity of extreme climate events—such as floods, cyclones, and droughts—are increasing, leading to high volatility in many parts of the world. The impact of these events falls unequally on the most vulnerable individuals, households, and communities. They are vulnerable because they are poor and live in high-risk areas; and because they have limited social capital and inadequate access to resources and institutions. They are often the least resilient and have the least capacity to cope in the short term and adapt over the long term.

The social costs of the impending impact of climate change must be addressed in smart, scientifically grounded adaptation, mitigation, and resilience strategies. The Population Council’s PERCC initiative is improving scientific understanding of how population dynamics are key to those strategies and informing new comprehensive population and climate-change policies.

The PERCC initiative uses multidisciplinary research approaches enriched by combining the demographic and climate sciences. Council researchers are working to advance a research agenda that addresses the following questions:

  • Who and where are the people most vulnerable to environmental risk and climate change?
  • What are the effects of environmental risks and climate change on health and well-being?
  • How do people respond to environmental risks and climate change? What are the implications of people’s responses?  ​
  • What interventions and policies facilitate adaptation and build resilience?

To learn more about the PERCC research agenda, download our brochure

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