LISBON, Portugal – Prof Saths Cooper 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 honor and responsibility to be invited to participate in this historic summit,” said Cooper. “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 behaviors.”
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 referendum 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 5 continents at the summit were Australia, Brazil, Sweden, Cuba, Jordan, Mexico, Nigeria, South Korea, Nepal, and Uganda. The summit was co-presented by the American Psychological Association and the Order of Portuguese Psychologists.
For more information on the summit, visit https://www.psychologyandglobalhealth.org/