Publication Date



Global environmental changes—such as pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, and freshwater decline—affect people worldwide, with impacts that are not just physical, but also social and economic. Consequences range from minor inconvenience to injury and death, and can include food and water insecurity, mental distress, family separation, income disruption, and asset depletion. a social justice issue, environmental change has consequences that are typically worse for some groups than others. The Environment and Social Development initiative examines social vulnerability and strategies for social action and adaptation to environmental change. We emphasize social action that leads to reductions in negative environmental problems and adaptation through formal programs and policies designed to reduce vulnerability to environmental change. Through this work, Environment and Social Development aims to contribute to a more environmentally sustainable world, in which all people have fair and optimal opportunities to live full, healthy, and productive lives.

Document Type

Working Paper


Environment and Social Development


Environment and Social Development

Original Citation

Mason, L. R. (2015). Environment and social development (CSD Working Paper No. 15-33). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


Environment and Social Development


adaptation, climate change, environment, pollution, social action, social justice