3 Ways to Cope with Climate Anxiety

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The climate crisis wreaks havoc across the globe, wielding its destructive power unequally. With some regions submerged under floods and others at the mercy of raging wildfires, the impact and experience vary dramatically. 

People all over the world are experiencing these changes differently. While some experience these natural disasters fueled by climate change firsthand, others witness these tragedies through news stories and social media. As a result, a new form of worrying has surfaced, called Climate Anxiety or Climate Change Anxiety. 

What is climate anxiety?

Climate anxiety as defined by many scholars can be summarized as a heightened worry about the future in relation to the climate crisis. There are some similar terms used in modern-day vocabulary to describe this feeling of increased worry and stress such as eco-anxiety (Pihkala, 2020), and ecological grief (Cunsolo & Ellis, 2018). However, each of these terms has slight differences in the scope and feelings they are referring to. 

In this post, we’ll provide more insights on what climate anxiety is, who may be experiencing it, if it is considered to be a disorder, and what scholars have found as treatment options for those experiencing it. 

Is it different from eco-anxiety and ecological grief?

Yes, climate anxiety is different from eco-anxiety and ecological grief because it refers to the emotions that surface due to climate change. The term “eco-anxiety” was coined by Glenn Albrecht, and holds a more expansive definition that describes a chronic fear of environmental doom. This could be fear or anxiousness related to biodiversity decline, water scarcity, ocean acidification, etc. On the other hand, ecological grief is described as “mourning of the loss of ecosystems, landscapes, species and ways of life” due to the long-term impacts of climate change.

Who might be experiencing it?

This heightened worry about the climate crisis has been studied across the world and found in many geographical regions. Clayton (2020) provides an overview of many surveys and national studies on the prevalence of anxiety and worry around climate change. The following four national statistics were sourced from her paper. A study by the American Psychological Association found that 51% of the 2,017 Americans surveyed described climate change as “a somewhat or significant source of stress” (American Psychological Association, 2020). Minor and others (2019) found that 39% of 646 Greenland residents reported feeling either a “moderately” or a “very strong” fear of climate change. Gibson and colleagues (2020) found that 95% of 100 Tuvaluans reported feeling distressed by climate change. Steentjes and others (2017) found that an average of 30% of approximately 4,000 Europeans interviewed reported feeling “very worried” about climate change. 

A study in Canada was recently conducted among young Canadians aged 16 to 25 and found similar results where “at least 56% of 1,000 respondents surveyed reported feeling afraid, sad, anxious, and powerless. 78% reported that climate change impacts their overall mental health and 37% reported that their feelings about climate change negatively impact daily functioning.” (Galway and Field, 2023) 

While studies worldwide have highlighted the prevalence of climate anxiety across the globe, scholars have found an increased prevalence of worrying among youth and those concerned about environmental issues. Notably, worrying was not the only emotion triggered by thoughts of climate change impacts. Emotions such as guilt, anxiety, depression, fear, shame, and hope have also been reported alongside worrying about climate change (Clayton, 2020; Hickman et al., 2021). 

Is it a disorder?

Does a name like “climate anxiety” refer to a new type of disorder? Well, scholars have mixed perceptions about this. Some believe the climate crisis is significant, and therefore feeling some degree of worrying about the impact of climate change is rational. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), a handbook used by many healthcare professionals worldwide as a guide to diagnosing mental disorders (American Psychiatric Association, 2023), has yet to define climate anxiety as an official disorder. Some scholars argue it should remain that way because again, a fair degree of worrying about the climate crisis is seen as a rational response to the crisis at hand. 

What are some avenues to work through these feelings?

It is common to hear that taking climate action is a way to overcome climate anxiety, however, this route may not be as effective for everyone. While an overview of climate anxiety treatments was hard to source, scholars Baudon and Jachens (2021) conducted a scoping review on treatments for those experiencing eco-anxiety.  They shared the following major themes to empower individuals who are experiencing climate-related anxiety:

1. Foster inner resilience: This theme of interventions provides suggestions that enable those suffering from eco-anxiety to reframe, feel, and make deep meaning out of their distress. 

2. Build social connections and support groups: This theme of interventions encourages participation in supportive groups that are eco-anxiety-informed and specifically intent on supporting the emotional process of individuals suffering from eco-anxiety. 

3. Connect with nature: This theme of interventions encourages connecting with nature as a space of reflection, resourcing, and inspiration. 

Where can I learn more about climate anxiety?

1.  Tune in to a Podcast.  We liked this one: Speaking of Psychology: How to cope with climate anxiety https://spotify.link/J6xooovSAB or How to cope with climate anxiety 

2.  Take a free self-paced course sponsored by the UN


3. Find out how to participate in a local, in-person Climate  Change Workshop:  https://climatefresk.org/

You are not alone. To get help with severe anxiety, reach out to your medical provider to explore the best options to support your health and wellness.

Some YellowYellow team members experience climate anxiety.  This is why we are taking action to reduce our personal carbon footprint. It’s also why we are passionate about partnering with organizations looking to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us: hello@yellowyellow.ca   


American Psychiatric Association. (2023). Frequently Asked Questions. American Psychiatric Association. https://www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/practice/dsm/frequently-asked- questions#te American Psychological Association. (2020). 

The majority of US adults believe climate change is the most important issue today. Https://Www.Apa.Org. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/2020/02/climate-change Baudon, P., & Jachens, L. (2021). 

A Scoping Review of Interventions for the Treatment of Eco-Anxiety. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(18), 9636. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189636 Clayton, S. (2020). 

Climate anxiety: Psychological responses to climate change. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 74, 102263. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102263 Clayton, S., & Karazsia, B. T. (2020). 

Development and validation of a measure of climate change anxiety. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 69, 101434. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2020.101434 Comtesse, H., Ertl, V., Hengst, S. M. C., Rosner, R., & Smid, G. E. (2021). 

Ecological Grief as a Response to Environmental Change: A Mental Health Risk or Functional Response? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(2), 734. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18020734 Crandon, T. J., Scott, J. G., Charlson, F. J., & Thomas, H. J. (2022). 

A social–ecological perspective on climate anxiety in children and adolescents. Nature Climate Change, 12(2), 123–131. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-021-01251-y Cunsolo, A., & Ellis, N. R. (2018). 

Ecological grief as a mental health response to climate change-related loss. Nature Climate Change, 8(4), 275–281. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558- 018-0092-2 Galway, L. P., & Field, E. (2023). 

Climate emotions and anxiety among young people in Canada: A national survey and call to action. The Journal of Climate Change and Health, 9, 100204. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joclim.2023.100204 Gibson, K. E., Barnett, J., Haslam, N., & Kaplan, I. (2020). 

The mental health impacts of climate change: Findings from a Pacific Island atoll nation. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 73, 102237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2020.102237 Hickman, C., Marks, E., Pihkala, P., Clayton, S., Lewandowski, R. E., Mayall, E. E., Wray, B., Mellor, C., & van Susteren, L. (2021). 

Climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses to climate change: a global survey. The Lancet Planetary Health, 5(12), e863–e873. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2542-5196(21)00278-3 Minor, K., Agneman, G., Davidsen, N., Kleemann, N., Markussen, U., Olsen, A., et al. (2019). 

Greenlandic perspectives on climate change 2018-2019 results from a national survey. University of Greenland and University of Copenhagen. Kraks Fond Institute for Urban Research. Pihkala, P. (2020). 

Anxiety and the Ecological Crisis: An Analysis of Eco-Anxiety and Climate Anxiety. Sustainability, 12(19), 7836. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12197836 Searle, K., & Gow, K. (2010). 

Do concerns about climate change lead to distress? International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, 2(4), 362–379. https://doi.org/10.1108/17568691011089891 Steentjes, K., Pidgeon, N., Poortinga, W., Corner, A., Arnold, A., Böhm, G., Mays, C., Poumadère, M., Ruddat, M., Scheer, D., Sonnberger, M., Tvinnereim, E. (2017). 

European Perceptions of Climate Change: Topline findings of a survey conducted in four European countries in 2016. Cardiff: Cardiff University

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Jeff Garcia-Seminario


He holds a Bachelor of Anthropology from Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos (Peru) and a Masters in Science in Sustainability and Responsibility  (Ashridge Business School, UK).   As a lifelong learner, he recently completed a Global Business Management (High Honours) at Seneca College in Toronto. 

Jeff brings global experience in leading corporate social responsibility (CSR) and community engagement projects in the extractive sector.   Jeff excels in stakeholder mapping, community engagement, and conflict resolution.   Applying his private and public sector experiences, Jeff can bridge cultural and historical divides between extractive industries and their communities.  His areas of focus include food security, sustainable procurement, and good governance. Most recently, Jeff contributed to the development of an ESG strategy for a multi-national company.  

Jeff’s native language is Spanish. He enjoys morning runs in the neighbouring parks.

Kaitlyn D'Lima


Kaitlyn D’Lima holds both a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Master of Science and Sustainability Management degree from the University of Toronto.   She is also trained in greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting.

She brings extensive experience in sustainability and business transformational projects. She is known for her ability to execute projects of any size with both urgency and accuracy.   Kaitlyn has a natural talent for improving stakeholder engagement. She’s a real trailblazer when it comes to benchmarking and research.

Kaitlyn is a runner who participates in outdoor adventure races.

Arun Balu Pazhayannur


Arun B Pazhayannur holds a degree in mechanical engineering and is a Chartered Accountant. He also has an MBA from the Ivey Business School at the University of Western Ontario. Along with his academic achievements, he has a thorough knowledge of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles, which he incorporates into his consulting work. 

Arun is well-known for his leadership abilities as well as his strong skills in data analysis, financial modeling, and operations management. He has been recognized for his ability to identify practical solutions and deliver value to clients ranging from banks to payment companies to software providers. Arun is also a past President of Toastmasters Club. 

In his free time, Arun enjoys scuba diving.In his spare time, Arun likes to scuba dive. 

Gregory Donovan

Senior Advisor

Gregory  Donovan is a Chartered Accountant. He is a Fundamentals of Sustainable Accounting (FSA) Credential Holder.  He obtained an Honours in Business Adminstrations (HBA) from the Ivey Business School (Western University) and a Master or Laws (LLM) from the London School of Economics. Gregory is the CEO of Avondale Private Capital, a sustainable finance firm focused on energy transition finance and carbon markets.  He has presented on these topics at conferences in Canada, the US and UK.  

Greg participates in the occasional triathlon and loves to go skiing and sailing with his two young children.

Margaux Loptson

Associate & US Operations Lead

Margaux Loptson holds a Bachelor of Arts (Psychology) and a Bachelor of Arts (Criminology) from Pennsylvania State University. In addition, she holds several research certifications, including Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans

She has been an essential player in AI-powered teaching and learning projects as a User Experience (UX) lead.  Margaux is known for applying her design thinking, problem-solving and analytical skills to make a positive impact. She is a native French speaker

Margaux is a fitness enthusiast who can be found hiking around Central Park in NYC.

Ritika Jain

Associate / Responsible Supply Chain Lead

Ritika Jain holds a Masters in Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management from Lund University (Sweden)  and a Bachelor of Technology from Indraprastha University (India). As a lifelong learner, she is pursuing a Graduate Diploma in Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Toronto.

Ritika is a recycling and responsible supply chain specialist.  Through her work, she collaborates with organizations to implement circular economy focused policies to ensure compliance with regulations.  

Her proficiency in data analytics and with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) enable her to manage complex sustainability data. Ritika also volunteers with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, engaging with youth to drive positive change.  

Ritika is a native Hindi speaker.  She is a certified hiking leader who enjoys travelling.

Jonathan Spence

Associate & Western Canada Operations Lead

Jonathan Spence holds an Honours Bachelor of Integrated Sciences (Earth and Environmental Sciences) from McMaster University and has his certification in Geographic Information Sciences from the ESRI Canada Center of Excellence at McMaster University. Jonathan worked as a research analyst in the environment and sustainability group for a TSX listed company.  

He is pursuing his Ph.D. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta, where he is researching the development of carbon capture techniques and their applications to the mining industry.  Jonathan is focused on helping companies to minimize their carbon footprint while supporting their economic growth.   

Jonathan is an avid water polo player and coach. He plays for the local National Championship League team. 

Gurnoor Gandhi

VP Business Development & Strategic Partnerships

Gurnoor Gandhi holds an MBA from Ivey Business School (Western University) and a postgraduate diploma in Maritime Energy Management (Sweden). Gurnoor brings experience with sustainability frameworks including TCFD, GRI, and CDP and is pursuing FSA credential (SASB). 

Gurnoor has global leadership experience in the shipping industry managing assets worth millions of dollars on the high seas and has led diverse teams worked in Monaco, Singapore, and India. Most recently, he led organizational development and client partnerships at CARD, a non-profit focused on rural development and renewable energy.

Gurnoor brings a blend of technical and leadership skills. He applied his knowledge of greenhouse gas accounting and carbon capture to support clients with niche energy transition projects. He is known for putting his problem-solving, stakeholder management, and project management skills to work to help firms expedite their ESG Journey. 

Gurnoor is a certified BMW adventure motorcyclist who finds off-road rides rejuvenating for body and spirit.  He enjoys hiking with his family.

Lisa-Annabel Ellis

Founder & CEO

Lisa Annabel Ellis holds an Honours Bachelor of Science (Environmental Science) from the University of Toronto and an MBA from the Ivey Business School (Western University). She is a certified Project Manager Professional (PMP) with a Six Sigma Green Belt. Lisa is a Fundamentals of Sustainable Accounting (FSA) Level II Candidate. Applying her deep expertise in business and operational strategies, she has led award-winning transformational initiatives.

Drawing on her well-rounded science and finance expertise, she launched YellowYellow to help clients advance their sustainability practices. As an advocate of transparency and good governance, she partners with clients to understand their risks and opportunities to generate superior long-term value. Stakeholders across the value chain recognize the impact of this effort. She has been called upon to be a keynote speaker and lecturer.

Lisa is an advanced scuba diver who enjoys most water-related sports.