Why is climate change a pertinent issue for social work and how can social workers contribute to efforts to address it?


  • Rose Anderson University of Sydney


This article considers the relevance of climate change for social work and discusses the ways that social workers can contribute on macro, mezzo and micro levels to efforts to address climate change. The approaches of adapting to climate change and mitigating climate change are discussed, including the benefits and limitations on each, showing that it is necessary to peruse an integrated approach which combines adaption and mitigation. Social workers have a duty to contribute to efforts to both adapt to and mitigate climate change as well as undertake other forms of 'environmental social work' as climate change is a social justice and human rights issue. By extending the concept of person-in-environment to include physical environment social workers can approach the issue in a way which is in line with existing social work theories and approaches and incorporate a responsibility for the environment into their practice.

Author Biography

Rose Anderson, University of Sydney

Social work student at the University of Sydney


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Student edition 2021