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Psychology has an important role in combating climate change

07 May 2019

The House of Commons declared an environment and climate emergency recently, making the UK the first country in the world to take such a measure.

The British Psychological Society welcomes this move, and we acknowledge that psychologists have an important role to play in understanding how to achieve effective behaviour change which will allow us to tackle this issue head on.

A report published by the Committee on Climate Change makes it clear that we need effective and clear policies to reduce greenhouse gases, and it is the role of psychology to make sure that these are implemented in a way which gives the best chance of success.

Sarb Bajwa, chief executive of the BPS, said:

“Climate change is one of the defining issues of our time, and psychologists can offer a great deal when it comes to understanding what interventions are likely to be effective.

We heard from Sir Mark Walport, chief executive of UK Research and Innovation, at our annual conference last week, and he made it clear that the BPS and psychology can enter this space and contribute positively to the development of policies which will have an impact.

The BPS will be working with our partners both nationally and across borders to address the urgent issues which this crisis raises, and do all we can to make psychology part of the solution.”

Anyone with any questions or suggestions on how psychologists can be proactive in addressing climate change are invited to contact Annie Mitchell.

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