Garret BarnwellNick Wood (2022)
Climate justice is central to addressing the climate emergency’s psychological consequences in the Global South: a narrative review

First Published February 1, 2022 Research Article

The United Nations has signalled a ‘code red’, marking climate change as an existential threat for humanity. The world is rapidly warming, and the consequences of climate change include an increase and intensification in flooding, droughts, wildfires, and other traumatic exposures. Although countries in the Global South have contributed least to global warming, they are the most vulnerable owing to historical inequities. The concept of ‘climate justice’ recognises that historical racial discrimination, class disenfranchisement, political misrecognition, and other social injustices make surviving climate change and thriving within it more challenging. This narrative review considers the psychological consequences of the climate emergency through a climate justice lens. The article discusses the unequal exposures to psychological adversities, socio-historical barriers to adaptations and, finally, institutional betrayal that complicates the experience of psychological distress. The review concludes by pragmatically discussing how psychology could support climate justice ends.

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