Special Interest Group for Addressing Climate and Environmental Emergency


The primary goal of this group is for the public benefit, to help raise awareness of climate change and the environmental emergency and how psychology can help us understand and resolve these issues.


Psychology & Climate Change

Psychological factors in the creation of climate change, e.g., a destructive ‘resource ownership’ relationship to nature vs a stewardship relationship, and the psychological factors inherent in our social and political context.

Psychological factors as barriers to addressing climate change or engaging in climate change mitigation e.g., paralysis, guilt or shame, information avoidance, fear, psychological distance, disavowal/denial, bystander effect, confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, other cognitive heuristics, ‘dragons of inaction’ etc

Psychological factors in the momentum towards behavioural, organisational, and social change: confidence we can make a difference, social momentum, leadership, visible modelling of behaviour change, incentives, maintaining hope and perspective, collective efficacy, providing opportunities for meaningful contribution.

Psychological impacts of climate change e.g., eco-anxiety, shame, depression, suicide risk, trauma etc.

Psychological factors in how we connect with nature, the environment and planetary health.

We seek to be outward facing and engaged; to educate and inform, facilitate behavioural change at various levels in society and promote a sustainability agenda in any services being delivered by psychologists.

We seek to communicate and influence key stakeholders in Ireland and overseas; to create alliances with similar groups of psychologists, environmental scientists, and others.

This will involve creating a platform for dialogue across a wide section of society.

We seek to expand our individual and professional zones of influence; to walk the walk and establish an Eco-Code for psychologists.

We seek to establish a tone and messaging that includes:

  • Frank and robust recognition of the immediate and catastrophic peril we are all facing
  • Proactive engagement across media and politics
  • Respectful, diplomatic, scientifically based, and thoughtful disposition
  • Acknowledges our collective societal ownership of both the problem and the solutions (seek to avoid ‘othering’ or divisive language, we are all part of the problem and all part of the solution)

Email: climatechange@psychologicalsociety.ie 



  • Briefing Paper of "A New Climate for Psychology Event" - Psychology's Role in Dealing with the Climate EmergencyClick here


Dr Odhrán McCarthy

Chairperson and Treasurer

Dr Eoin Galavan

Secretary & Vice Chairperson

Dr Sharon Lambert

Ordinary Member

Dr Marica Cassarino

Social Media Officer

Amy Brogan

Ordinary Member

Thomas Milllane

Ordinary Member

Claire Crowe

Ordinary Member

Theresa Ryan-Enright,

Ordinary Member

Christine Mullen-Jensen,

Ordinary Member

Dylan MacDonald

Ordinary Member