There is lots of advice available about how to make good personal decisions about healthy climate actions (fly less, eat less meat, reduce energy use, buy less stuff and so on), but beyond individual behaviour change (which many citizens simply do not have the financial, social or personal resources to make), effective climate action requires systemic, economic, and political change.
We can add our voices to wider calls for political and social action, including re-iterating our understanding of the social determinants of health. Some of us are engaging in activism, with groups such as Extinction Rebellion, XR Psychologists, Medact, PsychDeclares, Climate Psychology Alliance, or supporting Fridays for Future.
As health professionals we are highly respected members of society, and so our voices count for a lot, especially at a time of unprecedented interest in psychology and well-being. We can help join the dots between distress, trauma, social justice, equality, inclusion and the better lives we could all lead if we were enabled to live more sustainably.
There are lots of ways of sharing leadership: for example here are some great resources on women’s leadership for planetary health, with particular inspiration from the global south:
Challenge your organisations to reduce waste, plastics and carbon. The NHS is one of the biggest carbon producers in the UK. Hold your leaders and boards to account.