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Research Pillar on Population-Environment and Climate Change

The research pillar on Population-Environment and Climate Change is dedicated to comprehensively examining the relationship between population dynamics and environment and climate change, with an emphasis on Asia. It explores whether, how, and where the changes in population size, composition and spatial distribution affect the environment and climate systems on the one hand, and how environmental and climate changes influence the human population, on the other. While the conceptual framework of the pillar retains a demographic focus, its research projects, methods, approaches and other research materials reflect the interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary nature of the research topic.

Core members:

Leiwen Jiang (Leader of the research pillar, Professor)

Emerson Baptista (Assistant Professor)


External collaborators:

Brian O’Neill, HamidrezaZoraghein, Xiaolin Ren, Jing Gao (National Center for Atmospheric Research, USA)

Wolfgang Knorr (Lund University, Sweden)

AlmutArneth (KIT/IMK-IFU, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany)

Jiaying Zhao (Australian National University, Australia)

Tiantian Zhang (Zhejiang University, China)

Kai Chen (Nanjing Universityand Columbia University, China)

Anping Chen (Princeton University, USA)

MaikNetzband (Ruhr-University Bochum, Germany)

Deborah Balk, Bryan Jones (City University of New York, USA)

Zhen Liu (Brown University, USA)


Research Assistants:

Amr Abdelwahed, Liangliang Sun, Xi Chen, Xueting Li, TingtingWan, Xiaobin Chen



Leiwen Jiang

Link: http://cms.shu.edu.cn/Default.aspx?tabid=35486                                                              

Leiwen Jiang is professor and founding director of the Asian Demographic Research Institute (ADRI) at Shanghai University. He also leads ADRI’s research pillar on Environment and Climate Change. His research involves methodological work on improving demographic components of integrated assessment modeling on environment and climate change policies, and explores the environmental implications of socioeconomic and demographic dynamics. He has been developing the Community Demographic Models of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) for the broader environmental and climate change research communities, and evaluating the influence of socio-demographic variables on various aspects of environmental issues.  His funded research projects explicitly explore the socio-demographic determinants of energy transition in the developing world; study the urbanization processes of different phases and forms and their effects on energy consumption, land use, greenhouse gas emissions, and wildfire risks; simulate the interactions between demographic dynamics (particularly migration) and land use and water resources; and analyze household consumption patterns and other behavioral changes and their consequences on the environment and climate systems.


Leiwen taught numerous courses at Brown University and Peking University, including Population and Environment, Demographic Methods and Techniques, and Classic Readings on Population. He also worked at several other academic institutions including the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) in Austria, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany, Indiana University in the US, and was Chief Demographer at Population Action International. He chairs the Scholarship Program of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) WGIII Technical Committee, and served as Theme Convener at the International Union for Scientific Studies of Population (IUSSP) Conference 2017 on Population, Consumption and the Environment. He was also lead author of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, and a member of the IUSSP Scientific Panel on Climate Change.


Emerson Baptista

Emerson Augusto Baptista is professor of the Asian Demographic Research Institute (ADRI) at Shanghai University. Geographer, M.Sc. in GIS, and Ph.D. in Demography by the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil. Post Doctorate at Brown University (USA), Institute at Brown for Environment and Society.

His funded research project mostly focusses on spatial modeling of population dynamics, in order to answer that question “how can we understand the function and response of the Earth’s system in the face of demographic changes?” In particular, I use population downscaling technique to model spatial population changes by age, rural/urban status and other demographic characteristics.

His research interests include spatial analysis, spatial distribution of population, mortality, migration, and climate change.


Ongoing Projects:


1.       One-Belt-One-Road Initiative and its implications for international migration (2017-2020)


The implementation of the One-Belt-One-Road (OBOR) policies, initiated by the Chinese government in 2013, is indeed likely to have a significant impact on the regions along the land-based Silk Road Economic Belt across the Eurasian continent and the oceanic Maritime Silk Road linking Asia, Europe and Africa. Driven by large scale investments in infrastructure, improved transportation and communication facilities, economic collaborations and educational and cultural exchanges across countries and regions -leading to increasing international migration flows - have contributed to changes in population growth and population compositions (by age, education, rural/urban residence, religion, nationality), as well as in the spatial distribution. This project aims to assess historical changes and forecast the plausible trends of international migration flows among the countries along the OBOR and with other global regions. We will explore the impact of international migration on population dynamics and human capital under the OBOR initiative, and study the consequences of population movement on changes in labor productivity, consumption patterns and lifestyles, economic growth, social integration, resource use and environmental protection in both the origins and destinations of migration.


This project is supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China National Key Project (16ZDA088, PI: Leiwen Jiang). The four sub-projects are: (1) Assessment and projection of international migration along the OBOR (led by Guy Abel); (2) Impacts of international migration on population dynamics and human capital of the OBOR countries (led by Samir KC); (3) The effects of international migration driven by OBOR initiative on the countries, communities and left-behind families in the origins (led by Yu Zhu); (4) International migrants in mega cities of China: comparative analysis between Shanghai and Hong Kong (Led by Yuzhao Liu).