Climate Cares Centre

The launch of our new Centre for climate change and mental health

an aerial view of a body of water with islands

Photo by USGS on Unsplash

Photo by USGS on Unsplash

In 2023, we launched the Climate Cares Centre, which builds on four years of our research, policy, education and intervention design work at the nexus of climate change and mental health. The Climate Cares Centre is the first Centre globally to focus on mental health and wellbeing in the climate emergency. 

Climate Cares is the sixth of IGHI's Centres of Excellence. 

Watch the panel discussion at the launch

Climate Cares is a collaboration between the Institute of Global Health Innovation (IGHI) and the Grantham Institute - Climate Change and the Environment, two of Imperial College London's seven Global Challenge Institutes established to promote interdisciplinary working and to meet some of the greatest challenges faced by society

Connecting Climate Minds

Wavy blue patterns as background

Connecting Climate Minds

Connecting Climate Minds is a global, Wellcome-funded project to develop an aligned and inclusive agenda for research and action on climate change and mental health, grounded in the needs of those with lived experience of mental health challenges in the context of climate change.

Connecting Climate Minds brings together expertise from research, policy, design, and lived experiences from across the globe.

The Climate Cares team, headed by Dr Emma Lawrance, is thrilled to drive this work with a fantastic coalition of organisations including the International Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Sustyvibes, Force of Nature, the Climate Mental Health Network and international experts from around the world across our seven Regional Communities of Practice.


Through a series of regional and lived experience dialogues in 2023 over 20 in total Connecting Climate Minds collected experiences and insights on the interconnections between climate change and mental health, and where new evidence is needed to drive change in policy and practice and respond to emerging needs.

The insights were summarised into Research and Action Agendas (seven regional agendas, one small-holder farmers and fisher-peoples agenda, one Indigenous communities agenda, one youth agenda and one global agenda), launched on our Global Online Hub in March 2024.

The regional dialogues drew over 340 participants from 89 countries in all the following regions: Latin America and the Caribbean; Sub-Saharan Africa; Northern Africa and Western Asia; Central and South-Eastern Asia; Eastern and South-Eastern Asia; Oceania; and Europe and North America.

The Lived Experience Working Group worked with Indigenous and farming partner organisations to host a series of dialogues (virtually and in person) for youth, small farmer and fisher peoples, and Indigenous communities.

To really make a difference to the intertwined challenges straining people’s mental health and breaking our climate, there is a great need for spaces that foster connection. We are thrilled for the opportunity to connect diverse talents and perspectives on a shared vision for the climate and mental health space."
Dr Emma Lawrance, Mental Health Lead at IGHI

On wavy blue background, Connecting Climate Minds logo is centred. Text reads: Connecting global climate change and mental health research. Logos: Imperial College London Projects, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Climate Cares, Force of Nature, Claretian University, IFRC, Wellcome, IGHI, SustyVibes, UWI, St Luke's, Climate Mental Health Network, Grantham Institute
Illustration in blue colours showing people holding hands around a world map, overlaying a brain

COP28 in Dubai

white and gray high rise buildings near body of water during daytime

Photo by Wael Hneini on Unsplash

Photo by Wael Hneini on Unsplash


At the UN Climate Change Conference of Parties (COP28), hosted by the United Arab Emirates on 20 November – 13 December 2023, Climate Cares and Connecting Climate Minds hosted diverse events showcasing the key emerging mental health impacts of the climate crisis and possible solutions from the global dialogues.

Health Day at COP

Connecting Climate Minds (CCM) featured in the COP28 Health Day events: Jessica Newberry Le Vay and Dr Emma Lawrance spoke at the first-ever COP Presidency event on mental health at the Youth Climate Champion Pavilion co-organised with Welcome and the YOUNGO Health Working Group, sharing insights on the links between mental health and climate change, and emerging findings from the youth dialogues.

CCM-UNFCCC Official Side Event

The side event "Catalysing aligned, inclusive, and co-beneficial action for climate change and mental health" was chaired by Professor Sir David Nabarro, Institute of Global Health Innovation. The expert panel highlighted the need for a research and action agenda for climate change and mental health and some of the insights arising from CCM. Panellists included Dr Emma Lawrance, Climate Cares Centre; Dr Renzo Guinto, St Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine; Dr Britt Wray, Stanford School of Medicine; Dr Alan Dangour, Wellcome Trust; Dr Petra Khoury, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies; Dr Salman Khan, the International Federation of Medical Students Association; Ana Mejia, Youth Ambassador for the Regional Community Convenor in Latin America and the Caribbean, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.

Climate Cares and UNU Panel

At the COP28 Health Pavilion, the Climate Cares Centre and the United Nations University (UNU-CRIS and UNU-Merit) co-organised a panel discussion on "Connecting psychological resilience and mental health to climate action: Insights and hopes of young people" moderated by Sacha Wright, Force of Nature on Friday 8 December. During the session, Dr Emma Lawrance shared research insights on the mental health impacts of climate change and the important perspectives shared by young participants at the CCM dialogues on actions that can foster both psychological and climate resilience.

At COP28,members of the CCM global team smiling and standing by a sign that says "UNITE. ACT. DELIVER"

Some of the Connecting Climate Minds team at COP28

Some of the Connecting Climate Minds team at COP28

Three women standing outside at COP28

Climate Cares team members Jessica Newberry Le Vay, Nienke Meinsma and Emma Lawrance at COP28

Climate Cares team members Jessica Newberry Le Vay, Nienke Meinsma and Emma Lawrance at COP28

COP28: Centring Mental Health in the Health Response to Climate Change

About COP28, Omnia El Omrani and Emma Lawrance write:

The 28th UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) was a turning point for the centring of human health in climate negotiations. Political leaders began to acknowledge climate change as a health emergency, including at COP’s first 'Health Day', where more than 140 countries made a historic commitment to the UAE Declaration on Climate and Health, and USD$1 billion in finance commitments were pledged for climate and health.

From a vicious to a virtuous cycle, the opportunity for action should not yet be missed. Climate action is an opportunity multiplier for creating the conditions that foster good mental health such as more connected and equal societies, clean air, and access to green spaces, while good mental health and psychological resilience can be an enabler of sustained climate action.

Dr Omnia El Omrani Climate Change and Health Junior Policy Fellow was the first official Youth Envoy for the President of the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) and Health Envoy for COP28.

Omnia said: "As the COP27 President Youth Envoy, I saw the exceptional ability of youth to communicate the urgency of climate action in ways that resonate with communities and build agency through the lens of culture and arts, bridging the gap between science and lived experiences."

The team: Emma Lawrance, Nienke Meinsma, Jessica Newberry Le Vay, Omnia el Omrani, Neil Jennings, Peter Howitt, Rhianna Thompson, Victoria Murphy, David Nabarro, Gianluca Fontana, Mala Rao, and global partners and affiliates