European Psychology & 

Climate Change

Endeavors and success of MA's

Collaboration with partners

Climate at the ECP's

At European level

At a global level

How to get involved as MA


EFPA’s Weather Map - European psychology and climate change

Edited by Nicola Gale, EFPA Vice President

 Endeavors and success from our Member Associations 

News from Members_4410 COPY

Climate change_5498

Patricia Espinosa, Head of the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (left) and Dr. Meltem Avci-Werning, President of the BDP (right).


#BonnClimateConference #BDP

The Professional Association of German Psychologists proclaims Climate Decade

May 25, 2022 

The Professional Association of German Psychologists (Berufsverband Deutscher Psychologinnen und Psychologen e.V., BDP) wants to help shape social change in climate policy and, in doing so, establish psychological expertise as a central component in tackling the climate crisis. This is why the BDP is declaring a Climate Decade for its association work over the next ten years and is thus dedicating itself to one of the greatest challenges of our time. For in all questions concerning ecological awareness, behavioural changes or coping strategies, only psychology can provide answers

German Association of Psychologists at UN Climate Congress in Bonn June 7-16, 2022

June 7-16, 2022 - Bonn

For the first time in history, the German Psychologists community will be represented at a climate congress of the  #UnitedNations  The #BDP is very proud of the nomination of President Dr. Meltem Avci-Werning by the Congress-accredited American Psychological Association (APA), the #GPA (Global Psychology Alliance) and thus also the BDP at this week's #BonnClimateConference as an observer.

This testifies to the deep trust of our transatlantic colleagues in our professional association, and gives hope for further, very special cooperation in world politics as representatives of psychology! Thank you #APA!

BDP President met Patricia Espinosa, Head of the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in person in Bonn, whose opening speech can be found here.

Climate change_5362

  • In January 2022, the NIP expert group “Climate and Behavioral change” was launched, under the umbrella of our section “Social and Economic Psychology” (SEP). Behavioral scientist Reint Jan Renes, who actively shares psychological expertise to promote sustainable behaviour, chairs this group. We launched this expert group because NIP receives more and more requests to share our expertise on this topic, from media outlets, local and national governments and NGO’s. Our members were keen to respond to these request. Naturally, driven by our mission to contribute to a resilient society we also want to contribute more on this subject ourselves.


    Read more - fold out text 



    On earth day 2022 the expert group published an article explaining how every individual psychologist can help combat climate change. You can read the article here (in Dutch): Earth Day 2022: Psychologen komen in beweging tegen klimaatverandering. Doe je mee?


    The webinar on climate change we organized at the end of 2021 can also be found here. In this webinar Reint Jan Renes, well known psychologist and expert on this matter, explains more about the theory behind behavioral change, and how this knowledge can be used in dealing with the climate challenges. Two other psychologists share how they apply this knowledge in their daily work (one at a local government, the other working as campaigner for an NGO). You can watch this webinar here (Dutch).

Climate change_5363

The Vjosa River

Let’s save Vjosa River, the Blue Heart of Europe

By Valbona Treska, President of the Order of Psychologists of Albania


The Vjosa River in Albania is one of Europe’s last living wild rivers. Its entire course of over 270 kilometers is untamed and free-flowing, with beautiful canyons, braided river sections, oxbows, meandering stretches, and islands covered with vegetation. In some areas the riverbed expands over more than 2 km in width. 

Climate change_5482
  • Scientific knowledge about the Vjosa’s biodiversity and physical processes is still limited. It is one of the least explored rivers in Europe. But the few existing studies underscore the importance of the river valley as Albania’s biodiversity hotspot providing ideal aquatic habitats for numerous species. According to the information received from Eco Albania[1] the river is host to over 1,100 species, including 13 globally threatened animal and 2 plant species, and at least 50 animal and 24 plant species are included in the national Red Lists of Albania.[1] Eco Albania is the largest organization which was created in 2014 specifically to protect Vjosa. This organization has also undertaken most of the activities to protect the river. 

    Read more - fold out text 

    For years, the entire river system has been attacked by dam projects. If constructed, they will destroy this natural environment – flooding some parts of the valley while leaving others dry. In the whole Vjosa catchment, 40 hydropower plants are planned, 9 on the Vjosa itself and 31 on its tributaries. Thus, this river landscape needs to be protected by the highest possible nature protection category – a national park according to the standards of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

    Albanians are aiming to make the Vjosa, Europe’s first Wild River National Park, safeguarding the entire ecosystem. This is the only way to prevent harmful projects within the protected area which will make a huge contribution to the EU Biodiversity. Several initiatives and activities for the protection of Vjosa have been undertaken in Albania and many personalities have been involved in this cause. In 2019 one of the celebrities, Leonardo Di Caprio became part of the Vjosa's defense awareness campaign.


    In the framework of the Summit organized in November 2019 in Lisbon, Portugal on Climate Change, the Order of Psychologists has so far organized several awareness-raising activities. Meanwhile, after the successful conclusion of the second GPA (Global Psychology Alliance) Summit a few days ago in Bogota, Colombia, we are planning to build a calendar with more extensive activities in order not only to raise awareness of local authorities, but also in a wider international plane.

    For this purpose, close cooperation is needed with the associations of other EFPA member countries.

    Any initiative or project-idea for activities that may come from our partners in EFPA or from any psychologist seeking to be involved in the protection of the Vjosa River, will be welcomed by the Order of Psychologists and we will have all our commitment to collaborate.


 Collaboration with partners

Action from psychologists across the world on the UN Sustainable Development Goals including climate change 

EFPA participated in the June 2022 global psychology summit in Bogotá, Colombia, where leaders signed a resolution committing to apply psychological science  to address global health and well-being, minimize widespread inequalities and stem climate change.  EFPA was present along with a number of our Member Associations in particular the Portuguese OPP who hosted the previous summit in Lisbon in 2019.  

The APA press release provides an overview, more information will be included in future editions of the newsmagazine.   


 Cimate at the ECP's 

ECP 2022

At the upcoming ECP2022 in Ljubljana, delegates can attend an environmental psychology stream Preliminary Programme, ECP2022 .  This will present research fitting to the overall Congress theme of Psychology as the Hub Science: Opportunities and Responsibility.  The background to this theme ECP 2022, 17th European Congress of Psychology has been explained by the Congress organisers:  “According to Boyack’s analysis of all scientific journals’ citations Psychology is one of the seven hub sciences (the others are: Math, Physics, Chemistry, Earth sciences, Social sciences and Medicine). So the impact of psychology on other sciences is substantial and important. That brings psychology immense number of Opportunities: collaborations, accelerated growth, influencing, improving services... etc. But also Responsibility: psychological findings are being used by a wide crowd of practitioners from many different fields.”. It could be argued this is no more relevant than in the field of psychology and climate change.


ECP 2023

For ECP2023, to be held in Brighton, United Kingdon, the exciting news is that submissions are now open.  Climate is one of four major cross cutting themes for the Congress ECP2023 Thematic Streams - European Congress Of Psychology 2023 of Climate change and sustainability.  This is reflected in the overall theme of the Congress, Psychology:  Uniting communities for a sustainable world.  Please do consider submitting to this Congress and join psychology and climate researchers from across Europe. 


 At the European level

Climate change_5364

30 May to 5 June was EU Green Week 2022 (

EU Green Week is an annual opportunity to debate European environmental policy with policymakers, leading environmentalists and stakeholders from Europe and beyond. This year's edition focused on the European Green Deal - the EU’s sustainable and transformative growth strategy for a resource-efficient and climate-neutral Europe by 2050.


The Green Week hybrid conference opened on 30 May with a high level debate on what happens to the EU environmental policy in times of crisis. The following day, three important aspects of the transformation – circular economy, zero pollution, and biodiversity, were in the spotlight. Highlights of the session recordings can be watched on the site here.

Climate change_5365

Stockholm 50+

This conference took place in Stockholm 2-3 June 2022.  Stockholm+50 commemorates the 1972 United Nations Conference on the Human Environment and celebrates 50 years of global environmental action. By recognizing the importance of multilateralism in tackling the Earth’s triple planetary crisis – climate, nature, and pollution – the international meeting aims to drive action toward a healthy planet for the prosperity of all.  Swedish psychologists were present at the conference. 

More information 


 At the global level


WHO publishes Mental Health and Climate Change Policy Brief

Climate change exacerbates many social and environmental risk factors for mental health and psychosocial problems, and can lead to emotional distress, the development of new mental health conditions and a worsening situation for people already living with these conditions. Therefore, in preparing for and responding to this growing emergency, there is an increasing need for the provision of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), says the WHO.


Key points made in this policy brief are:

Climate change is increasingly having stronger and longer-lasting impacts on people, which can directly and indirectly affect their mental health and psychosocial well-being. Several environmental, social and economic determinants of mental health are negatively affected by climate change. Certain groups are disproportionately at risk from climate change-related hazards, including people with pre-existing mental health conditions.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends five key approaches to address these impacts:


1. Integrate climate change considerations into policies and programmes for mental health, including MHPSS, to better prepare for and respond to the climate crisis


2. Integrate MHPSS within policies and programmes dealing with climate change and health


3. Build upon global commitments


4. Implement multisectoral and community-based approaches to reduce vulnerabilities and address the mental health and psychosocial impacts of climate change


5. Address the large gaps that exist in funding both for mental health and for responding to the health impacts of climate change


Read more about WHO policy brief, launched at the Stockholm+50 conference here 


 How you can get involved, as an EFPA Member Association

EFPA’s News Magazine will be carrying regular stories about climate change over the next few editions. If you have a story and want to share the work of your association, please contact our editor via

Climate change_5122

News on climate change In EFPA News Magazine of March 2022

Click on 'menu' for content and other functions.

Use arrows one the side of the pages to navigate through the EFPA News Magazine.
Loading ...