Population Projections for Equitable Climate Action
The Community Demographic Model (CDM) provides computer simulations of population dynamics and change. Integrated with Earth system climate models, CDM projections illuminate different communities’ resilience, vulnerability, and capacity to adapt to climate change—providing insight for research and actions to enhance equity and well-being.
CDM follows scenario-based frameworks endorsed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and is widely adopted by the climate and earth system research communities to investigate the relationships between population, economy, climate, and environmental changes. CDM is continually updated, incorporating the most up-to-date input data revisions and extended to different regions of the world.
Projections for Managing Uncertainty
CDM is a programming system and integrated tool for exploring demographic dynamics and changes in population size, characteristics, composition, and spatial distribution. It encompasses a broad range of demographic behavior and provides state-of-the-art scientific projections of trends in urbanization, multiregional population interaction, and household formations at global, national, local, and grid-cell levels.
CDM provides analytic tools for evaluating the impact of short- and long-term strategies and policies on demographic, socioeconomic, and environmental development pathways. To predict future outcomes and critical demographic driving forces of population dynamics, CDM uses historical trends, assesses a plausible range of uncertainties, and synthesizes scientific opinions and assumptions about the future. Projections allow for comparisons of the effects of different actions under changing socioeconomic and environmental conditions.
CDM is essential input for the IPCC assessment reports, and other global socioeconomic and environmental assessments, most notably the proceedings of the annual global policy-setting meetings of the United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP) and the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Population, Environmental Risks, and the Climate Crisis (PERCC) Initiative
The CDM framework is developed at the Population Council by researchers Leiwen Jiang and Hamidreza Zoraghein. It is based on initial development within the Integrated Assessment Modeling program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). It was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, in part by research in the Multisector Dynamics, Earth and Environmental System Modeling Program.
CDM is a project of the Population Council’s initiative on Population, Environmental Risks, and the Climate Crisis (PERCC). PERCC investigates the complex interactions and dynamics between people and their environment and helps to ensure that climate programs and policies are inclusive and rooted in the principles of equity.
The Population Council seeks to improve the health and well-being of current and future generations. Through biomedical, social science, and public health research, we work with partners around the world to co-create and implement solutions for a more humane, equitable, and sustainable world.