Psychologists from 40 Countries Pledged to Use Their Jobs to Address Climate Change

Posted: January 5th, 2020

The leaders of psychological associations from more than 40 countries signed a proclamation this week at a conference on psychology and global health in Lisbon, pledging to use their expertise as psychologists to “take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.”

Already, psychologists have recognized that climate change is a threat to psychological health. But with this move, psychological associations from around the world are signaling a desire to actually address the problem. 

The American Psychological Association, one of the groups whose leaders signed the document, made history in 2017 by throwing its weight behind a body of research that pointed to “eco anxiety” as a legitimate affliction. That year, the APA published a 69-page report that urged broad recognition of the connection between mental health and climate change: The changing environment is a legitimate source of distress already affecting many people, the report emphasized, and it has the potential to be psychologically destabilizing.

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