Catastrophic weather shocks, such as severe drought or flood, are an important cause of poverty among rural households in developing economies. As the risk of these shocks is forecasted to increase, national social protection budgets will struggle to keep up with the number of households in need.
Just as climate scientists use advanced climate modeling to predict long-term change, we used advanced economic modeling to predict how well different social protection programs can address poverty in the face of climate change. We found that a resilience-based approach to social protection that includes insurance is the only sustainable way to manage poverty in the long-term. However, even this approach will fail if worst-case climate change scenarios come to pass.