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At the intersection of mind and climate change : integrating inner dimensions of climate change into policymaking and practice

Wamsler, Christine LU and Bristow, Jamie (2022) In Climatic Change 173(1-2).
Abstract

Dominant policy approaches have failed to generate action at anywhere near the rate, scale or depth needed to avert climate change and environmental disaster. In particular, they fail to address the need for a fundamental cultural transformation, which involves a collective shift in mindsets (values, beliefs, worldviews and associated inner human capacities). Whilst scholars and practitioners are increasingly calling for more integrative approaches, knowledge on how the link between our mind and the climate crisis can be best addressed in policy responses is still scarce. Our study addresses this gap. Based on a survey and in-depth interviews with high-level policymakers worldwide, we explore how they perceive the intersection of mind... (More)

Dominant policy approaches have failed to generate action at anywhere near the rate, scale or depth needed to avert climate change and environmental disaster. In particular, they fail to address the need for a fundamental cultural transformation, which involves a collective shift in mindsets (values, beliefs, worldviews and associated inner human capacities). Whilst scholars and practitioners are increasingly calling for more integrative approaches, knowledge on how the link between our mind and the climate crisis can be best addressed in policy responses is still scarce. Our study addresses this gap. Based on a survey and in-depth interviews with high-level policymakers worldwide, we explore how they perceive the intersection of mind and climate change, how it is reflected in current policymaking and how it could be better considered to support transformation. Our findings show, on the one hand, that the mind is perceived as a victim of increasing climate impacts. On the other hand, it is considered a key driver of the crisis, and a barrier to action, to the detriment of both personal and planetary wellbeing. The resultant vicious cycle of mind and climate change is, however, not reflected in mainstream policymaking, which fails to generate more sustainable pathways. At the same time, there are important lessons from other fields (e.g. education, health, the workplace, policy mainstreaming) that provide insights into how to integrate aspects of mind into climate policies. Our results show that systematic integration into policymaking is a key for improving both climate resilience and climate responsiveness across individual, collective, organisational and system levels and indicate the inner human potential and capacities that support related change. We conclude with some policy recommendations and further research that is needed to move from a vicious to a virtuous cycle of mind and climate change that supports personal and planetary wellbeing.

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Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Climate anxiety, Climate change adaptation, Climate change mitigation, Inner transformation, Inner transition, Paradigms, Policy integration, Relationality, Sustainability
in
Climatic Change
volume
173
issue
1-2
article number
7
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • pmid:35855438
  • scopus:85133512436
ISSN
0165-0009
DOI
10.1007/s10584-022-03398-9
project
Activating transformation: Meeting the climate crisis inside-out
Transition Visions: Coupling society, well-being and energy systems for transitioning to a fossil-free society
The Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
896378ea-b38d-4174-8273-9154f6d26092
date added to LUP
2022-08-26 15:41:45
date last changed
2024-05-30 06:32:01
@article{896378ea-b38d-4174-8273-9154f6d26092,
  abstract     = {{<p>Dominant policy approaches have failed to generate action at anywhere near the rate, scale or depth needed to avert climate change and environmental disaster. In particular, they fail to address the need for a fundamental cultural transformation, which involves a collective shift in mindsets (values, beliefs, worldviews and associated inner human capacities). Whilst scholars and practitioners are increasingly calling for more integrative approaches, knowledge on how the link between our mind and the climate crisis can be best addressed in policy responses is still scarce. Our study addresses this gap. Based on a survey and in-depth interviews with high-level policymakers worldwide, we explore how they perceive the intersection of mind and climate change, how it is reflected in current policymaking and how it could be better considered to support transformation. Our findings show, on the one hand, that the mind is perceived as a victim of increasing climate impacts. On the other hand, it is considered a key driver of the crisis, and a barrier to action, to the detriment of both personal and planetary wellbeing. The resultant vicious cycle of mind and climate change is, however, not reflected in mainstream policymaking, which fails to generate more sustainable pathways. At the same time, there are important lessons from other fields (e.g. education, health, the workplace, policy mainstreaming) that provide insights into how to integrate aspects of mind into climate policies. Our results show that systematic integration into policymaking is a key for improving both climate resilience and climate responsiveness across individual, collective, organisational and system levels and indicate the inner human potential and capacities that support related change. We conclude with some policy recommendations and further research that is needed to move from a vicious to a virtuous cycle of mind and climate change that supports personal and planetary wellbeing.</p>}},
  author       = {{Wamsler, Christine and Bristow, Jamie}},
  issn         = {{0165-0009}},
  keywords     = {{Climate anxiety; Climate change adaptation; Climate change mitigation; Inner transformation; Inner transition; Paradigms; Policy integration; Relationality; Sustainability}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{1-2}},
  publisher    = {{Springer}},
  series       = {{Climatic Change}},
  title        = {{At the intersection of mind and climate change : integrating inner dimensions of climate change into policymaking and practice}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10584-022-03398-9}},
  doi          = {{10.1007/s10584-022-03398-9}},
  volume       = {{173}},
  year         = {{2022}},
}