Climate change is the biggest threat to humanity and yet most individuals do nothing to neutralise or circumvent it. Psychological research has explored the factors that create this climate inaction paradox. By now, research has documented a myriad of sources from which cognitive, social, cultural, economic and political inertia springs aplenty. Climate change, then, appears as a “perfect storm” not only in its consequences but because it eludes our common ways of dealing with problems.

If climate inaction is the default attitude, how come there are people who defy the numbing amount of inertia and act on climate change? There are people who buy, consume and fly less, change their diet, donate, recycle, boycott big polluters, sign petitions, organise politically, protest in the streets, start research projects, and even decide against having children to lower their impact on the planet! What explains that some people deviate from the default of climate inaction? The present project is to study the factors that create this virtue paradox, departing from looking at the barriers to climate action to exploring the factors that make people act on climate change.

Slawa Loev

Project Lead