Ontological security

The concept of ontological security was proposed by Anthony Giddens in 1991. It refers to an individual’s sense of order, security and continuity within a rapidly changing environment. For instance, if an event occurs that is not consistent with the meaning of an individual’s life, this threatens their sense of belonging and confidence in their identity. In this regard, sociologists and psychiatrists argue that ontological security is threatened by anthropogenic climate change. On a societal level, migration from environments degraded by climate change breaks the continuity of the bond between people and their land, and compromises the material, social and cultural aspects of security.