Psychology can help tackle climate change, says expert

Environmental psychology looks at the relationships between people and
the natural and man-made environment, and can play a vital role in helping
to tackle climate change and its impacts, according to an industry expert.

"Environmental psychologists have practical and valuable expertise and
knowledge about the interactions of people with their environment. This can
make a significant contribution to addressing climate change," said
Associate Professor, Dr Joseph Reser, at Griffith University.

Dr Reser argues that environmental psychologists can help to design and
implement effective behaviour change strategies.

"To protect the environment we need a more genuine focus on people, this
involves understanding what moves and motivates people, both individually
and collectively, to change their behaviour and their attitudes" Dr Reser said.

"You also need to identify and address barriers to change and how everyday
behaviours and lifestyles impact on the environment.

"Individual behaviour, as well as institutional change initiatives, must be part
of the social, economic and political response to climate change. We are
urging governments and organisations to consider engaging psychology as
part of the solution."

Dr Reser and the Australian Psychological Society will release a position
statement, titled: 'Psychology and the Natural Environment,' at this week's
annual national conference in Brisbane.

To download a copy of the position statement, visit: www.psychology.org.au.


To coordinate an interview with Dr Reser please contact Elaine Grant
on 0412 683 068.