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Welcome to Climate Psychology Alliance - facing difficult truths about climate change and ecological crisis

Minutes of meeting held at UofE ,Paterson’s Land

CPA logo Scotland

Julian Manley, CPA & Research Fellow, School of Social Work, Care and Community, UCLAN (Chaired the meeting)
Jackie Beresford, Environmental Officer, Dundee & Angus College Gemma Stenhouse, Supply Chain Manager, APUC Scotland
Rebecca Petford, Scotland Programme Manager, EAUC
Catherine Happer, Lecturer in Sociology, Convenor, MSc Media, Communications and International Journalism, Glasgow University Media Group, UofG
John Wincott, Sustainability Advisor, Fife College
Nicole Manley, British Geological Survey & artist at Glasgow School of Art
John Thorne, Sustainability Coordinator, Glasgow School of Art, Convenor EAUC Community Engagement Topic Support Network (notes)
June Graham, Sustainability & Climate Change Officer, Sustainable Scotland Network, Keep Scotland Beautiful
Osbert Lancaster, Sustainability Events and Specialist in Green Behaviour Change Rachel Howell, Lecturer in Sociology and Sustainable Development, School of Social & Political Science, UofE
David Somervell, UofE and Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation Associate Jackie Malcolm, Graphic Designer, Associate Director, CECHR, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design
Kate Thornback, Environment Officer, SRUC
Gillian Gibson, Scotland Programme Coordinator, EAUC
Thank you to Sarah Ford-Hutchison, Communications Coordinator at UofE’s Department for Sustainability and Social Responsibility for booking the room.
1. Governance
After introductions and apologies, JM outlined how CPA UK is governed.
- An Exec Board are elected at each AGM, comprising a Chair, Secretary, Treasurer, Membership Officer, Website Coordinator, and Website support and have monthly Skype meetings, meeting once a year face-to-face.
- An advisory Board of 6-8 members are consulted on conference events and Members’ Day. They can attend the Exec Com but in practice rarely do so.
- It is fair to say CPA is England focused and London-centric, with around 60 members in total
2. CPA was started by psychoanalysts concerned about their patients’ fears around climate change. This developed to include a social approach, and the

CPA would regard itself as adopting a psycho-social approach to climate change.
3. Thegroupagreedthatweshouldhaveapsycho-socialapproachtotheissue of engaging with climate change. We are developing thought on this approach to engaging with climate change, influencing developing policy and new ways of working within organisations and government, but as members of CPAS we are not activists. Although “psycho-social” describes our approach we also need new language that is more accessible and less alarming (‘Facing Difficult Truths). For example “Helping people think positively about engaging with climate change”.
4. It was agreed that Scotland is an ideal test-base – easy access to government, willingness to listen and change, and a widely acknowledged but unfocused need to change our approach for a greater impact.
5. It was felt that the time is right to look beyond the quick wins and that much of the “low hanging fruit” had already been taken. Although encouraging personal behavioural change is still important, we need to engage with, and change, attitudes and approaches within organisations and government.
6. The group agreed that CPAS can work with and join together all disciplines, academically, professional services, NHS, local councils etc. and across all social classes and groups. We need to influence someone in every organisation to take on the psycho-social approach.
7. CPAS should continue to develop, with partners, an approach that changes organisational and government behaviour based on the science of psycho- sociology.
8. CPAS is a place of safe exchange of information - two way between psycho- sociologists and those charged with making changes in our society, economy and culture
9. CPAS recognises that climate change engagement and action is more than an environmental issue, but one that is deeply rooted in our culture, our feelings of social responsibility, personal and organisational fears and anxieties, our collective past and history, and perceived future
10.The group felt it important to develop ‘tools’, such as an introductory presentation and other tools with key objectives kept in mind, but never losing sight of the holistic and interconnected picture. There needs to be time for both the practical and theoretical.
11.Bearing in mind the above, marketing and Values-based approaches should form part of our approach
12.We need to bring in media, including online social media, newspapers, radio and television.
13.Psychology of Climate Change also goes beyond vales-based approaches to transformational change. Individual actions like switching off light-bulbs tend to be psychological dead-ends “ghetto behaviours”; we need deeper individual and social connections. Psycho-social understandings can help us to move beyond the simple, reductionist ‘quick fixes’ implied in ‘switching off the lights’.
14.A systems-wide, holistic approach is required, is complex and will need many partners to deliver
15.EAUC is working on Leadership training to look at how new “adaptive” systems within organisations can help make change happen more quickly. JT has attended and it’s highly recommended.
16.Partnerships will be vital and CPAS should attend, speak and present at organisational conferences such as the EAUC UK and Scotland conferences, SSN (5 October), APUC, Sustain APUC, Procure X etc.
17.CPAS should host film nights and speaker events with panels and workshops for partners to widen engagement with the group
18.CPAS should identify national campaign weeks to influence – for example Climate Week in September ( change/sustainable-scotland-network/climate-week-2017/)
19.Working groups should be agreed and set-up, reporting back to the main CPAS group
20.We should aim for at least 60 members in Scotland by the end of 2018
21.The group were keen to have another meeting soon, and chose 20 July 3pm in Edinburgh as the next meeting date. Thereafter meetings will move from Glasgow and Edinburgh with occasional meetings in other Scottish cities. All meetings will have video-conferencing or phone-conferencing capability, but the group feels it is important to meet face-to-face where possible, and primarily in work time.
22.The next meeting will look at:
- Governance and membership
- Formalise the aim and approach
- Distribution of meetings and type of meetings: suggested face-to-face and
monthly but also innovative meeting techniques, and webinars etc.
- Introductory presentation for discussion
- Partnership working: who do we know?
- Set objectives for action and expected outcomes
- Advocacy: should we be attending conferences with?

23.CPAS is a process not a conclusion. The group felt that we should be clear about our aim to promote a psycho-social approach to engagement with Climate Change, but open to new members and partnerships.
- Start CPAS working group Facebook group page (JT – done)
- All who wish to, to ask to join the group
- Introductory presentation to be developed for workshops and conferences (JT, JM)
- Partnership working (JG, RP, GS)
- Set 2018 CPA-S conference date
JT (notes)