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New Report about Meeting the Climate Crisis Inside Out


To meet the climate crisis, we urgently need more integrative policy approaches that link inner and outer dimensions of climate change, states a newly released report co-authored by LUCSUS Professor Christine Wamsler.

– Climate change is a physical reality, demanding urgent political, structural and practical solutions. But its inner dimension, overlooked entirely by mainstream approaches, is a crisis of relationship, says Christine Wamsler, Professor at LUCSUS and one of the authors of the report.

Currently the world is failing to implement solutions of the rate, scale and depth required to meaningfully address climate change within a closing window of opportunity for mitigation and adaptation. The authors of the report Reconnection: Meeting the Climate Crisis Inside Out argue that this grave shortcoming is rooted in the same pathology that drives the crisis: lack of conscious connection with ourselves, with others and with the world we share.

– The same shared mindset of separateness that drives social alienation and exploitative human behaviours throughout society also inhibits sustainability responses at all levels. Meanwhile the mental health impacts of the climate crisis drive unsustainable behaviour and impede positive action, contributing to a vicious cycle between mind and climate change. More integrative approaches are thus urgently needed, states Professor Christine Wamsler.

The need for more integrative approaches has also been highlighted in this year’s IPCC Assessment Reports on mitigation and adaptation.

– We hope that our policy report can leverage related work. It offers a different approach to deal with the climate crisis by focusing on inner dimensions, and the importance of our innate and trainable capacities of mindfulness and compassion as a way of restoring the conscious connection that is fundamental to both human and planetary wellbeing, says Professor Christine Wamsler.

The report provides vast evidence and policy recommendations that can support policy and decision-makers to integrate external approaches with inner work into public policy across all sectors.

Leaders who grasp and respond to the need to integrate external approaches with inner work across all sectors and levels will be those best equipped to implement genuine, transformative climate action now and in the future.

The report has received vast interest from scholars and policymakers worldwide

Supporters include the former UN climate negotiator Christiana Figueres who led the landmark 2015 Paris climate accord negotiations and many other decision- and policy makers worldwide.

– There are many changes to make over the next 10 years, and each of us will take different steps along the way, but all of us start the transformation in one place: our mindset, says Christiana Figueres, Former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2010-2016.

About the report:

The report follows a research collaboration between the Mindfulness Initiative and the Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies (LUCSUS). It included a literature review, 25 in-depth interviews with high-level national and transnational politicians, policy advisors and other policy makers, and a large-scale consultation with  policy makers and leading experts working on linking ‘inner’ and 'outer' aspects of the climate crisis.

Authors: Jamie Bristow, Rosie Bell and Professor Christine Wamsler (LUCSUS)
Download report here

Watch the recording of the online policy launch, which took place on Thursday 28th Aprilincluding Caroline Lucas MP, Member of the British Parliament and former Green Party leader, and Tom Rivett-Carnac, political lobbyist for the UNFCCC and an author on climate change policy. The consultation draft was launched on the first of March featuring Jon Kabat-Zinn.

About The Mindfulness Initiative

The Mindfulness Initiative grew out of a programme of mindfulness teaching for politicians in the UK Parliament, and provides the secretariat to the Mindfulness All-Party Parliamentary Group. It investigates the benefits, limitations, opportunities and challenges in accessing and implementing mindfulness and compassion training in public policy and educates leaders, service-commissioners and the general public based on these findings.

Read more about the Mindfulness Initiative

About Professor Christine Wamsler

Christine Wamsler is Professor of Sustainability Science at LUCSUS and director of the Contemplative Sustainable Futures Program. She is an internationally-renowned expert in sustainable development and associated (material and cognitive) transformation processes with 25 years of experience, both in theory and practice.

Read more about Christine Wamsler