Intervention outcomes

Interventions have largely focused on alleviating climate change anxiety within individuals.

However, a number of researchers posit that some level of climate change anxiety is necessary for individuals to take action to address environmental challenges.

There is tension between reducing anxiety on an individual level and promoting pro-social and environmental actions. It is therefore important to consider all potential outcomes of an intervention.

3 overlapping circles, labelled, "Individual", "Social", and "Environmental."

Individual outcomes

Climate change anxiety is an unpleasant emotional state, which individuals want to reduce. It can also be pathological to the extent that it interferes with functioning.

Interventions that address climate anxiety may therefore target the individual outcomes of reducing anxiety, particularly if this anxiety reaches clinical levels.

Social outcomes

Climate change anxiety interventions may also involve collective action. For example, interventions such as joining activist or community groups, or faith-based practices, are likely to give people a sense of common purpose.

To that end, climate change anxiety interventions may address the social outcomes of increasing cohesion within groups and help them achieve their goals.

Environmental outcomes

By promoting a connection with nature, or with environmental activist causes, climate change anxiety interventions can increase pro-environmental behaviours in individuals.

These behaviours have downstream positive implications on climate change and environmental issues more broadly.