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BPS updates, Climate and environment

Psychologists uniquely placed to help tackle climate change says new statement from BPS Climate Environment Action Coordinating Group

The BPS is calling on its members to use their knowledge and skills to help take forward initiatives linked to addressing climate and environmental issues.

24 October 2023

By BPS Communications

Whether members are researchers, academics, practitioners or students, the society believes all psychology professionals can use their expertise to contribute to the climate agenda.

The call comes as its Climate Environment Action Coordinating Group (CEACG), set up earlier this year in recognition of the threat to human health and wellbeing from global climate changes, has published a position statement setting out areas for action.

Terri Morrissey, Chair of the CEACG, said:

"Many thanks to the members of the group who worked collaboratively together to produce this statement. It gives a comprehensive overview of the crisis facing us all and steers us as psychologists toward the key areas where psychology can make a difference in helping to address these challenges.

"Psychologists have a unique and vitally important role to play in tackling the climate crisis. We are experts in human behaviour, motivation and change. We can also offer support on the impacts of climate change on individuals and communities through helping to build resilience, develop coping mechanisms and overcome trauma associated with climatic crises. 

"We can also influence policy and policy makers through the use of psychological science and evidence-based research on the causes and human impact of climate disasters.

"We are determined that this group will not just be a 'talking shop' but will provide support and guidance for members to enable them to lead action to tackle the huge threat that is climate change. We cannot just do nothing, as a profession we must act now."

The CEACG's position statement sets out the following key areas for action in relation to the climate and ecological crisis:

  • Health and wellbeing
  • Raising awareness
  • Aligning policy, public affairs, and public engagement
  • Human rights and inequality

The group is now developing a programme of work based on these priorities to enact over the coming years.

The BPS will work with its membership and the group is keen to hear from and collaborate with member network groups on climate change projects.

If you would like work with the BPS on any climate change work, please get in touch by email.

Read the full position statement.

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