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Examining and overcoming the psychological barriers to climate action

This project's highly international and interdisciplinary collaboration will create synergies and develop important means to tackle climate change.

Extensive amount of scientific evidence supports that human actions are causing changes in the global climate system. Despite the widespread concern regarding this issue, sufficient climate change mitigation efforts are delayed.

This research program aims at investigating two barriers to climate action: 1) Climate change denial, which is still occurring at varying levels among policy-makers and the public, and 2) Resistance to make behavioral changes that would substantially decrease personal greenhouse gas emissions. To this end, two correlational studies will be conducted simultaneously in four countries (Sweden, Great Britain, New Zealand, and the US). Cross-cultural investigations into the psychological underpinnings of climate-related beliefs and attitudes are needed since environmentalism varies across the nations. Furthermore, this project aims at developing and experimentally testing communication frames that would increase engagement in climate action.

Throughout the program, I will collaborate with world-leading researchers from Great Britain (University of Kent), New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington), USA (New York University) and Sweden (Institute for Futures Studies). This highly international and interdisciplinary collaboration will create synergies and develop important means to tackle climate change – one of the most complex and pressing challenges of our time.

Duration

2018-12—2021-12

Principal Investigator

Kirsti Jylhä PhD, Psychology

Funding

Swedish Research Council