Basic psychological needs are essential nutriments for psychological growth, healthy human functioning, integrity, and wellbeing. Self-determination theory defines the basic psychological needs for autonomy (ownership), competence (efficacy), and relatedness (belonging). It assumes their satisfaction to be context-dependent.
Wullenkord emphasized why we need to take seriously the satisfaction of both basic physiological and psychological need for all people and discussed how environmental psychology as a discipline may gain from an integration of the perspective. She introduced a working model that may be used to guide future research efforts and summarized existing empirical evidence. She concludet that we need to drastically transform our socio-political system and re-create contemporary society to one that satisfies basical psychological needs and equips people to face the climate crisis.
Allowing the concept of basic psychological needs entrance in the discussion and drawing conclusions from its findings may be a step in that direction.
Marlis Charlotte Wullenkord: Climate change through the lens of Self-Determination Theory: How considering basic psychological needs may bring environmental psychology forward. In: Umweltpsychologie 2/2020. page 110-129