Successful responses to the climate crisis require the participation of all fields and sectors of society. Psychologists have conducted valuable work on the climate crisis and can make even greater contributions to understanding the crisis, mitigating and adapting to climate change, and achieving climate justice. This report from the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Climate Change examines the multiple roles psychologists play in research, practice, education, advocacy, and communications related to the climate crisis and how APA can facilitate expansion of psychologists’ work in these domains.
The task force recommends that APA pursue a set of activities that will both (a) strengthen the field by encouraging a larger number of psychologists, across all specializations, to work on climate change, and (b) broaden the impact of psychologists’ work on climate change by supporting their engagement and collab- orations with other fields and sectors. Further, the task force offers recommenda- tions for how APA can help mitigate climate change by improving its own energy use and sustainability practices and encouraging improvements by other organi- zations and the public.
Responding to the climate crisis is an essential task for the current generation and many generations to come. Although the severity and urgency of the crisis should not be understated, it remains within the capacity of society to reduce its most adverse effects and to promote health, well-being, and justice for all people. Psychologists have the knowledge and skills to design and implement strategies that will help realize these aims. As a leading scientific and professional association, APA can prepare, support, and organize psychologists to address the climate crisis and amplify their work for greatest impact and visibility.
The task force presents this report not only to guide APA but also to inspire individual psychologists, psychology groups and departments, and other psycholog- ical associations to devote attention to the climate crisis, and to serve as a model for people and organizations in other disciplines and professions.