Leaders from more than 40 psychological associations across the globe agree that climate change “is a serious global threat.”
The representatives met in Lisbon for the first-ever International Summit on Psychology’s Contributions to Global Health earlier this month. Summit participants signed a resolution and committed to conduct further research, obtain more cross-cultural data, and launch advocacy campaigns.
PsyGlobalHealth agreed that climate change “is a serious global threat.” The representatives also said that climate change “is occurring faster than previously anticipated, and is contributed to by human behavior.”
Participants spent nearly three days discussing the impact of climate change in their respective countries. They workshopped plans for advocacy, potential media campaigns, and further research. They also developed a toolkit to meet the goals laid out in the resolution.
The resolution included specific commitments to “inform our respective members and the public about climate change.” Signatories agreed to continue “emphasizing scientific research and consensus on its causes and short- and long-term harms.”
The organization says psychology is “important in helping people adapt to climate change. Psychologists can help to build resilience, foster optimism, cultivate active coping, increase preparedness, and emphasize social connections.”
“Psychology as the science of behavior change must be actively involved,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr., Chief Executive Officer of the American Psychological Association. “There are psychological consequences in terms of the anticipatory challenges and in terms of how we help people recover after climate events.”
The summit included representatives from, Brazil, China, Cuba, Jordan, Lebanon, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, and Uganda.
Climate change is affecting communities around the world, and PsyGlobalHealth is just one of the organizations taking action. Schools and universities, in particular, are implementing new environmental policies.
At the University of Sheffield, a course on climate change is compulsory for all students. The university will also embed Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) into the curriculum for every single course at the university.
From the start of next year, Italian public schools will spend nearly an hour a week learning about climate change and sustainable development. Students will also study traditional subjects including maths and physics with an emphasis on sustainability and the climate.