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Climate change and human behaviour – Nature.com

To buck the trend of rising temperatures, immediate and significant climate action is needed.

Natural disasters have become more frequent and occur at ever-closer intervals. The changing climate is driving biodiversity loss, and affecting human physical and mental health. Unfortunately, the conversations about climate change mitigation are often dominated by Global North and ‘WEIRD’ (Western, educated, industrialized, rich and democratic) perspectives, neglecting the views of countries in the Global South. In a Correspondence, Charles Ogunbode reminds us that climate justice is social justice in the Global South and that, while being a minor contributor to emissions and global warming, this region has to bear many of the consequences.

The fight against climate change is a collective endeavour and requires large-scale solutions. Collective action, however, usually starts with individuals who raise awareness and drive change. In two Q&As, Nature Human Behaviour entered into conversation with people who recognized the power of individual behaviour and took action.

Licypriya Kangujam is a 10-year-old climate activist based in India. She tells us how she hopes to raise the voices of the children of the world in the fight against climate change and connect individuals who want to take action.

Wolfgang Knorr is a former academic who co-founded Faculty for a Future to help academics to transform their careers and address pressing societal issues. In a Q&A, he describes his motivations to leave academia and offers advice on how academics can create impact.

Mitigation of climate change (as well as adaptation to its existing effects) is not possible without human behaviour change, be it on the individual, collective or policy level. The contents of this Focus shed light on the complexities that human behaviour bears, but also point towards future directions. It is the duty of us all to turn this knowledge into action.

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