Collective Efficacy: An Asset for Climate Solutions

Have you ever heard of the term collective efficacy? If you’ve ever sat in on a psychology or sociology course, it may ring a bell. Even if you’ve never heard of the term, you have likely experienced the phenomenon. Collective efficacy “represents a group’s shared belief in its ability to organize and execute courses of action to accomplish shared goals.” In Mental Health and Our Changing Climate, an example is provided that illustrates how individuals will become more confident in the collective efficacy of their community if they witness others participating in resilience-building efforts.

From professional cohorts to global social media groups, we all exist in communities of varying connection. Through the lens of climate change, the phenomenon of collective efficacy should be something to celebrate. Taking action, being a climate leader, and allowing those in your communities to witness your work will produce positive dividends. As individuals witness and internalize their communities’ ability to build just and equitable climate solutions, the communities’ collective efficacy is bolstered.

ecoAmerica’s recently published research, American Climate Perspectives Survey 2022, Vol I, shows that more Americans are concerned about climate change than you think. More specifically, most Americans are concerned about climate change (75%), but only about half think that others around them are concerned (51%). This misunderstanding of the communities we exist in makes it more difficult to build collective efficacy. If we perceive our beliefs to differ from those around us, we are less likely to vocalize and share them. Therefore, be encouraged to pursue climate solutions in your communities and strive to be an example for others. Know that the majority of those around you are likely to share your concerns about climate change. Just letting others witness your climate leadership is helping to push us all toward climate solutions. 

If you are looking for ways to take action in your communities and actively strengthen their collective efficacy, be sure to visit the Research & Resources section of our website. Also, ecoAmerica’s upcoming 2022 American Climate Leadership Summit will be taking place at the end of March. Register today and join thousands of leaders like you who seek new connections and practical and immediately actionable guidance for engaging everyone, every day for just and equitable climate solutions.


About ecoAmerica

ecoAmerica builds institutional leadership, public support, and political resolve for climate solutions in the United States. We help national mainstream organizations elevate their climate leadership, providing them strategy, tools and resources to: demonstrate visible climate leadership, empower climate literacy, engage all constituents, and build collective action and advocacy. We help our partners transform into national climate leaders who inspire others on solutions. 

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