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Psychologists pledge to apply their science to help stem climate change

20 Nov 2019

... and commit their associations to direct resources to support UN Sustainable Development Goal


Commit their associations to direct resources to support UN Sustainable Development Goal

LISBON, Portugal – Nicola GALE European Federation of Psychologists’ Associations (EFPA) Vice President was among the leaders of psychological associations from more than 40 nations on five continents who met here and pledged to apply psychological science to combating global climate change.

“It was a great honour and responsibility to be invited to participate in this historic summit,” said Nicola GALE “As the science of behavior, psychology has much to say about what people can do to help prevent and mitigate the impacts of climate change and how to develop strategies to cope. We pledged to encourage leaders in government, academia, health and business to use more psychological science in designing policies to promote sustainable preventive and corrective behaviours.”

Participants at the first International Summit on Psychology’s Contributions to Global Health issued a proclamation on collaboration, committing the 43 signatories to use their professional, scientific, educational, cultural and applied resources “to achieve progress on matters of utmost importance for which psychology offers the greatest contribution.” Their initial efforts will focus on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 13: Take action to combat climate change and its impacts.

They also signed a resolution citing the “overwhelming agreement among climate scientists that climate change poses a serious global threat, is occurring faster than previously anticipated and is contributed to by human behavior.”

Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, president of Portugal, addressed the summit, praising the psychologists for taking on the challenge of global climate change.

“You chose the right subject because it’s a global subject,” he said. “We must have a global response to it. There is not a single country, not even a superpower, that can address alone this issue.”

During the meeting, from Nov. 14-16, participants developed plans for advocacy, media campaigns and research to meet the goals laid out in the proclamation and resolution. They agreed to continue to work together to put these plans into action in their respective countries.

Among the countries represented from five continents at the summit were, from Europe, Belgium, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine and United Kingdom. The summit was co-presented by the American Psychological Association and the Order of Portuguese Psychologists.

For more information on the summit, visit

About EFPA:  EFPA is a federation of 39 national psychology associations in Europe representing some 300,000 psychologists. It provides a forum for European cooperation in a wide range of fields of academic training, psychology practice and research.

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