The Australian Psychological Society acknowledges the scientific consensus regarding the existence of climate change and the substantial contribution the human population is now making to this via our greenhouse gas emissions.
We also acknowledge that climate change is the biggest global health threat of the 21st century and that current Australian and international carbon reduction commitments are nowhere near enough to avoid this threat. Despite the urgent need for steep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to avoid dangerous climate change, the level of global emissions continues to increase. The threat to our children and future generations grows larger with every passing year.
The current generation of adults has a responsibility to do everything we possibly can to protect the children of today and tomorrow from dangerous climate change. Hence it is of utmost importance that climate change is included as an urgent priority area for advocacy, research, policy and practice.
This statement of commitment was developed by the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth (ARACY) and the Climate and Health Alliance (CAHA) to garner support for protecting our children and future generations from climate change. The APS signed in 2013.
- Show leadership in our workplaces and in our communities by advocating climate action consistent with the science.
- Reduce our carbon footprint (e.g., by reducing energy use and increasing energy efficiency, switching to renewable energy, reducing waste, reducing personal transport emissions, purchasing carbon offsets for electricity and gas use and transport, including air travel, and monitoring the carbon footprint of suppliers).
- Measure our performance against defined targets and seek to constantly reduce our environmental footprint.
- Incorporate considerations regarding climate change into our decision making processes. That is, when we are making decisions we will do so in way that recognises whether we are increasing or decreasing our greenhouse gas emissions.
- Work to increase awareness of the threat that climate change poses to the health and wellbeing of our children and future generations and create opportunities for behaviour change to reduce this threat.
- Strive to ensure that our financial investments are not contributing to the threat by divesting ourselves and our organisation of investments in carbon intensive and environmentally destructive activities and industries.
- Conduct and/or advocate high quality research into the current and future effects of climate change on child health and wellbeing.
- Take the findings of existing research and translate these into policy and practice that will adequately protect our children and future generations from dangerous climate change and to advocate for their implementation.